Hounds

Hounds notch 200th win with 5-0 blowout in Georgia

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Hounds midfielder Kenardo Forbes looks to create against Atlanta United 2 — ATLANTA UNITED 2

The Riverhounds did it. They notched win No. 200 all-time, and they did so in style, stomping Atlanta United 2, 5-0, on the road Saturday evening at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. Tonight's match marked the first time the Hounds scored five or more since May 30, 2016, when they defeated the then-Harrisburg City Islanders (currently Penn FC), 6-5.

You could just feel this would be the Hounds' night when the scoring started with this from midfielder Robbie Mertz:

Needless to say, they didn't stop there. The Hounds rang up three first-half goals on Atlanta United 2, courtesy of Mertz, forward Steevan Dos Santos and forward Neco Brett. Actually, scratch that. Calling them simply "first-half goals" underscores how ridiculous they performed. The Hounds scored those three goals within the game's first 13 minutes.

Think they were hungry to get back on the winning track?

After last week's disappointing tie against Ottawa Fury FC, I wrote how this season's Hounds squad was "almost really, really good." Tonight, they were really, really good:

After that early trio, things just kept rolling for the Hounds in the second half. Midfielder Thomas Vancaeyezeele finished an insane sequence with this:

And forward Christian Volesky booted one that went down officially as an own-goal from Atlanta United 2's Laurence Wyke, a final, fitting illustration that this was simply the Hounds' night.

With the win, they improve to 3-2-7 and No. 11 in the USL Eastern Conference standings — and leave it to head coach Bob Lilley to keep things in perspective.

"It helps when you get the early goal," Lilley said after the game. "I think we were energized by that and got a couple [of] other goals. We looked hungry to go forward. I don't think we played the last 25 minutes of the first half very well. Fortunately, we didn't give up a goal or it could have changed the dynamic of the game.

"I think overall it is a great result. It is never easy to get three points on the road."

• Tonight's clean sheet was courtesy of Hounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton. 

• Funny what a blowout can do. With the 5-0 win, the Hounds now have a plus-five goal differential on the year. That's better than No. 10 Bethlehem Steel FC (minus-nine), No. 9 Saint Louis FC (plus-three) and No. 8 Charleston Battery (plus-two) and tied with No. 6 Louisville City FC on the year. Point being: This Hounds team can hang if they continue to piece it all together.

• The milestone 200th victory includes league, postseason and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

• Next up for the Hounds: Blackout night. They face New York Red Bulls II at Highmark Stadium Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m. Break out the black shirt if you snag a ticket.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HOUNDS' 5-0 VICTORY

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