ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Lancers’ playoff fate rests in their hands and at their feet, although they will need some help from a team 80 miles to the east and some tie-breakers as well.

Rochester must defeat the Erie Commodores in its regular season finale at Charles Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute Saturday at 4 p.m. and hope the Syracuse FC bests host Erie Sunday to reach the National Premier Soccer League playoffs.

That is certainly no mean task, but still mathematically possible.

The top two teams in the East Conference Division of the Midwest Conference will clinch a playoff berth. The Dayton Dynamo (6-3-2, 21 points), who have finished their season, already have and have clinched the East title.

The Lancers (5-4-2, 17) need to defeat Erie (6-2-2, 20) and then Syracuse (2-7-1, 7) must do the same at Gannon Field in Erie, Pa. Sunday.

Let’s say both games wind up being 1-0 results in favor of Rochester and Syracuse. So, the Lancers and Commodores each would have 6-4-2 records and 20 points.

Tie-breakers would be needed to determine who moves on.

The Lancers would have 16 goals for and nine against, the Commodores 15 goals for and nine against.

The tie-breakers are:


  1. Head-to-head results between the teams


  1. Goal difference in the head to head results


  1. Most wins in conference competition


  1. Goal difference in conference competition


  1. Fewest losses in conference competition


  1. Coin toss.

Since the teams would have split the season series, the second tie-breaker would be used. If the Lancers recorded that 1-0 result, the third tie-breaker would have to be utilized. If the Lancers would defeat Erie by more than two goals and Syracuse wins, this tie-breaker would push Rochester into the postseason.

If that doesn’t happen, then tie-breaker No. 4 — goal difference would determine the survivor (because both teams would have the same amount of wins – six) in the conference, tie-breaker No. 3). And that would be the Lancers, who have a plus seven to the Commodores’ plus six.

Again, Rochester and Syracuse need to defeat Erie this weekend for that to occur.