Rowdies shut down Pittsburgh for consecutive win

Shut DOWN.

click to enlarge Rowdies took revenge on Pittsburgh, handing them a 2-0 defeat Saturday night. It was the same score handed to them in Pittsburgh in a recent loss his season. - Colin O'Hara
Colin O'Hara
Rowdies took revenge on Pittsburgh, handing them a 2-0 defeat Saturday night. It was the same score handed to them in Pittsburgh in a recent loss his season.

Bang, bang. Two goals from Alex Morrell equated to a 2-0 win for the Tampa Bay Rowdies over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Saturday night.

Morrell himself declared the match the “one of the best games of the season” Easy to say, coming from the man who scored both goals, but he may not be wrong. The Rowdies dominated possession from start to finish, and soundly defeated a team they lost to earlier in the season by the same 2-0 score line.

“That’s going to build [Morrell’s] confidence even more. He’s been getting better and better, game by game. It was nice for him to get a couple of goals,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said.

The Rowdies first goal came from an abysmal attempt at a save from Pittsburgh goalkeeper Trey Mitchell that probably made his own mother embarrassed to know him. Mitchell dropped to one knee to make a routine save, but deflected the ball right into Morrell’s path for his first goal of the night, as well as his first of the United Soccer League season.

“It was one of the easiest goals I’ve ever scored in my life,” Morrell said.

The Lakeland native upped the ante for his second goal, serving up some bangers and smash with a stunning volley that secured the Rowdies’ second 2-0 win in a row.

“I’ve been working on that all week in practice,” Morrell said. “I got like 10 or 15 balls every other day just working on that back-post volley. I knew as soon as I saw that it went over (the defender’s) head that I was going to volley it.”

Campbell was pleased to replicate last week’s match, right down from the starting line up to the final score itself.

“Obviously we spoke about how well we’ve done defensively,” Campbell said. “The way we’re playing at the minute, we’re creating chances and it’s just up to us to convert them or not. And we are. We’re looking really dangerous.”

A shout out must be made to Rowdies defender, Damian Lowe, who made his triumphant return to the club after earning a silver medal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup last week. Lowe, who was given a rest on Saturday, represented his native Jamaica in the confederation’s championship tournament, but lost in the final match to the United States 2-1.

click to enlarge Marcel Shafer whips in a cross in the first half. Schafer assisted Morrell's second goal of the night, sending in a cross Morrell volleyed in the goal. - Colin O'Hara
Colin O'Hara
Marcel Shafer whips in a cross in the first half. Schafer assisted Morrell's second goal of the night, sending in a cross Morrell volleyed in the goal.

“It’s not just the physical demands he’s been through the past couple of weeks, but the mental demand,” Campbell said. “He didn’t get back in until late on Thursday night, and as you can expect, he’s tired. He’s done absolutely fantastic in the games.”

The Rowdies will continue their three-match homestand next weekend when they welcome Harrisburg to Al Lang and aim to continue their four-match unbeaten streak. 

About The Author

Colin O'Hara

Colin O'Hara, Intrepid Sports Reporter, writes about sports for Creative Loafing and is the only CL writer ever  banned from a certain Croatian stadium, which makes him sort of a bad-ass. Follow him as he Tweets smart-ass sports shit...
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