By Pittsburgh Hotspurs
Better late than never, eh?
The Pittsburgh Hotspurs, in their first season in the league, has had trouble getting the ball in the back of the net. While they’ve kept games close and managed to have some impressive scoring opportunities, the tallies just haven’t been coming. And with that, no points.
Until this weekend.
Going into the weekend, the Pittsburgh Hotspurs had five games remaining. After an impressive showing from goalkeeper Keaton Jennings (saving a PK in the first half and putting on a clinic in the second to ensure a clean sheet) on Friday’s matchup with the Erie Commodores, ending in a 0-0 draw, the Hotspurs first win of the season came on Sunday against FC Buffalo who is still fighting for a playoff spot.
The previous matchup between the two teams (6.14.19) saw FC Buffalo send the Hotspurs back for a long ride home after a 3-0 loss. Each of Buffalo’s tallies coming from Hotspurs errors that they were able to capitalize on.
Ready to return the favor, Noah Mehta got the ‘Spurs on the board in the 19th minute, setting what would be the pace for another three-goal win…just in the Hotspurs’ favor this time around.
However, it was quickly answered by FC Buffalo when a quick restart from a free kick had Austin Stout beating Jennings on a Colin O’Keefe cross in the 23rd.
While the squads went into the locker room tied, the Spurs came out strong in the second half ready to make it a four-point weekend.
An Anthony Harding cross to the back post was met by Matt Cillo who sent the ball back across the face of the goal to be tapped in by Ethan Hackenberg at the 57th.
In the 64th Lamine Balde, a five-year NPSL veteran, would add another beating FC Buffalo goalkeeper Bryce Tramuta after a through ball by Lucas Godinho.
With no intent to sit back on the two-goal lead, the Pittsburgh Hotspurs added another after man of the match, right back Matt Cillo combined with Godinho to get in behind the Buffalo back line and fire a shot at the far post. Tramuta parried the strike but the rebound fell to Stoffle for a tap in at the 75th minute.
Cillo ended the game with two assists, five interceptions, three shots (one on target), and three tackles.
This was Stoffle’s second of the season for the Pittsburgh Hotspurs after scoring the teams first ever goal in the opening match of the year against the Erie Commodores.
Photo Credit: Brad Oskowski