The Lancers have to wait until Sunday to find out their playoff fate. (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Lancers still are alive and kicking in their quest to reach the National Premier Soccer League playoffs.
Will Stone came off the bench to score twice — once in each half — to spark the Lancers to a 3-1 comeback win over the Erie Commodores at Charles Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute Saturday afternoon.
The Lancers (6-4-2, 20 points) still need some help to reach the postseason. If the Commodores (6-3-2, 20) draw or win at home against Syracuse FC (2-7-1, 7) Sunday, they will clinch a berth. If not, the Lancers will advance to the playoffs in its inaugural season.
Rochester would advance because of the second tie-breaker, because it would have a better goal differential in head-to-head results against the Commodores. The Lancers dropped a 2-1 decision to Erie earlier this season.
Erie drew first blood in the 32nd minute when Malcolm Shaw tallied his third goal of the season, off a 25-yard blast to the lower left corner.
Stone, who replaced Austin Gerber in the 30th minute, made his presence felt for the home side shortly thereafter. Lukas Fernandes fed Stone the ball down the right side and the winger beat his man before poking in his fifth goal this season for a 1-1 deadlock.
Rochester was far from finished struck for the winning and insurance goals nine minutes apart in the second half.
First, Glenn Holmes headed home a 35-yard free kick at the far left post for his second game of the season and to lift the hosts to a 2-1 advantage in the 68th minute.
Then Stone took center stage again. Anthony Rozzano sent in a high ball into the area that the Erie goalkeeper could not handle at the took of the box. Stone took advantage of the open goal and beat two defenders to slot it in to give Rochester some breathing room.
Now the Lancers have to play the waiting game and home for a Sunday surprise by Syracuse.