It was McLaughlin’s second goal in two games, and he gave FCC its first lead of a game since the loss to Louisville on April 16.
“It was a great ball from (Paul) Nicholson and (Sean) Okoli,” McLaughlin said. “I kind of jumped over the initial pass and snuck through and lucky for me it popped back out and I could put it through.”
Unlike that Louisville game, FCC’s defense held steady the remainder of the game and Mitch Hildebrandt needed to make just two saves to preserve the win. Pittsburgh took seven total shots to Cincinnati’s 11, nine of which were on target for the home side.
The game marked FCC’s first shutout of the season, something Harkes had stressed as something the club was anxious to see in past weeks.
“It’s nice for the whole team,” Hildebrandt said of the shutout. “We are a very strong defensive team. Obviously we’ve talked about it. Defensively, it was massive for us.”
FC Cincinnati steps away from USL action Wednesday to host the Indy Eleven’s NPSL team in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Nippert Stadium.