By Michael Lewis
With the Rochester Lancers ready to host their 2018 National Premier Soccer League opener against Erie Commodores FC Sunday at 5 p.m., here’s an interesting look at some famous firsts in the history of the franchise, indoor out out.
A group of local, regional and Canadian-based soccer players formed the Rochester Lancers in an exhibition match against Concordia Sport Club of Hamburg, Germany at Aquinas Stadium May 30, 1967. The Lancers lost, 4-2, before 5,132 spectators.
The first of two by John Kerr, in the 52nd minute. Kerr, one of those Canadian players, dribbled around three defenders and launched an 18-yard shot over goalkeeper Harold Voight’s hands.
First goal allowed
Concordia’s Heiner Castroff tallied the equalizer in that May 30 encounter, sending a bullet into the left-hand corner past goalkeeper Orest Banach. It was the start of three-goal assault in a five-minute span that turned the game around for the German side.
First ASL game
That was a 4-2 defeat to the Boston Tigers before 2,004 at Aquinas Aug. 27, 1967. Carlos Metidieri, who someday would fill the net at Aquinas Stadium, scored the first goal of the game with a 23-yard blast in the ninth minute. According to Rochester Democrat & Chronicle writer Alex Loj, Metidieri’s shot surprised “a drowsy Lancer defense and goalkeeper Szabo.” Jorge Benitez, the 1966 American Soccer League Golden Boot winner, paced the visitors with two goals, setting up the first one as well.
First ASL goal
Luis Fernando’s header past Tigers goalkeeper Claudio Dragonetti, off a Tommy McGlennon assist, in the 20th minute sliced the deficit to 2-1 for Rochester.
First ASL win
That occurred Sunday, Sept. 10, 1967 at Aquinas Stadium as Rochester defeated the Newark Ukrainian Sitch, 4-2, in front of 1,257. The Lancers did it the hard way, scoring three goals despite playing with a man disadvantage for the final 64 minutes after Kenny Allison was ejected for a dangerous play in the 26th minute (there were no red cards in 1967). Nelson Bergamo became the first Rochester player to secure a brace with two late second-half goals. Tito Laurini and Gordon Roberts also scored for the winners.
First penalty kick
Tito Laurini had the honor in the 49th minute against Newark Sept. 1 as he was allowed to retake a missed attempt because the Sitch goalkeeper moved on his first try — after Gildendor DeLima was fouled in the penalty area. The goal tied the score at 2-2.
First NASL game
On April 11, 1970, the Lancers defeated the Dallas Tornado in Dallas, 2-1. Roberto Ribeiro (35th minute) and Josip Ognjanac scored a late goal against goalkeeper Kenny Cooper. “The Rochester Lancers, outplayed for at least 75 of 90 minutes by the host Dallas Tornado, scored a 2-1 victory in their North American Soccer League debut here last night,” Loj wrote as his lead.
First NASL goal
That was recorded by Roberto Ribeiro in the 35th minute of the 2-1 road victory over Dallas April 11, 1970. Referee Eddie Pearson, who was to become NASL head of referees, whistled a foul on the hosts barely outside of the penalty area. Luis Marotti found an open Ribeiro and the one-time Bangu star slotted the ball into the right corner past Cooper. It turned out to be Ribeiro’s lone goal of his Lancers career (he played four games).
First NASL goal allowed
By Bobby Moffat, who slotted home a rebound of a Luis Juracy shot that goalkeeper Dick Howard saved in the 52nd minute in the Lancers’ 2-1 win over the Dallas Tornado April 11, 1970.
First playoff game
The Lancers defeated the Washington Darts in the opening match of a two-game, aggregate goal series in the NASL championship series at Holleder Stadium, 3-0, Sept. 5, 1970. Raul Herrera led the way with two goals and Luis Marotti added one before a crowd of 9,321, up until then, the largest crowd in club history.
First playoff goal
Herrera scored it in the 26th minute of the 3-0 victory over the Darts Sept. 5, 1970 as he deflected Yao Kankam’s shot past goalkeeper Lincoln Phillips from four yards.
A 16-15 loss to the Syracuse Silver Knights at ONCenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y. Nov. 4, 2011. The Silver Knights raced to an 8-2 first-period advantage before the Lancers rallied to grab a 15-12 lead at the end of the third quarter. Jeffrey Hughes connected for the game-winner with 39 seconds remaining in front of 3,720 spectators.
Lubo Kocic led the Lancers with three goals and seven points. Mauricio Salles and Doug Miller added a goal apiece.
First home game
The Missouri Comets spoiled the Lancers’ homecoming with a 13-4 triumph before a crowd of 6,528 at the Rochester Community War Memorial Nov. 12, 2011. Ryan Junge paced Missouri with five points, on the strength of a three-point goal and a two-point goal.
By New Jersey native Jeremy Ortiz, which sliced the Missouri lead to 4-2 with 8:08 left in the half. A member of the U.S. Futsal team, Ortiz, who was signed during the week, raced down the field via a counterattack. He scored on a 14-yard shot.
That came on Nov. 19, 2011, a 22-13 home victory over the Silver Knights at the War Memorial as 5,928 spectators watched. Andrew Hoxie and Salles finished with four points and an assist each.
After playing the 2016 season at the Rochester River Dogz, the Lancers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Dayton Dynamo in the first outdoor game with the team’s name at Wegman’s Stadium on the campus of Aqunias Institute. Alberto Zaragoza scored the game-winner goal in stoppage time May … 2017.
By Rafael Godoi in the 60th minute off an Isaac Kissi pass in the Dayton loss, which equalized the match.
First goal allowed
Scored by Dayton’s Matt Kinkopff in the13th minute of the 2-1 loss.
After dropping its first two games, Rochester recorded a 2-0 win over host Syracuse FC May 27, 2017. It was the first win for an outdoor Lancers team since the 1980 NASL season.
LADY LANCERS (UWS)
A 1-1 home draw with the New York Magic at Wegman’s Stadium at Aquinas Institute May 21, 2017. Magic goalkeeper Sierra Bonham saved Taylor Wingerden’s penalty kick in stoppage time to preserve the tie in the United Women’s Soccer encounter.
By Alexa Antetomaso, who put home a pass by Wingerden in the 32nd minute vs. the Magic.
First goal allowed
By the Magic’s Reny Viviana Roncancio Farfan, who put in a corner kick by Mami Yamaguchi in the 36th minute of that match.
A 9-3 victory at the Worcester Smiles Sunday May 20, 2018. The Lady Lancers tallied six goals in the second half to snap a 3-3 deadlock.
By player-assistant coach Brookie Barbuto, who struck three times in that triumph in Worcester. It won Barbuto UWS offensive player of the week honors.