By Michael Lewis
The Rochester Lancers return to the great indoors this weekend as they open their Major Arena Soccer League 2 schedule with two games at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y.
They host the Detroit Waza Flo in their season and home opener on Friday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. before welcoming the Cincinnati Swerve on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.
This will be Rochester’s first indoor game in 3 1/2 years.
To refresh the Lancers’ fans memories, we figured it would be appropriate to look at home famous firsts and lasts in the history of the team.
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 in a Major Indoor Soccer League match. 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.
Last regular-season game
A 25-23 loss to the Baltimore Blast in a Major Arena Soccer League encounter at the War Memorial Sunday, March 1, 2015. Lucas Roque tallied five times for the visitors.
Last regular-season win
A 9-7 triumph over the Syracuse Silver Knights in Syracuse, N.Y. Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Four players scored for
Rochester — Yaikel Perez, Jeremy Ortiz, Andrew Hoxie and Salles.
Last regular-season home victory
A 33-5 rout of the Harrisburg Heat the War Memorial Feb. 19.
Last regular-season home goal
By Joey Tavernese, a two-point goal off a Mauricio Salles assist, at 4:04 of the fourth period in a 25-23 loss to the Blast March 1, 2015.
Last playoff game
A 6-4 defeat to the host Blast Wednesday, March 11 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, a one-game playoff. Tony Donatelli tallied the go-ahead goal to snap a 4-4 deadlock with 8:06 left in the third period. With 2:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lancers called a timeout and brought in Ortiz as an extra attacker, replacing the goalkeeper. Rochester had several opportunities to equalize, including a point-blank shot in the waning seconds that went high over the goal.
Last playoff win
A 3-2 win in a mini-game over the host Silver Knights Sunday, March 8. The Lancers won the first game of the series, 20-7 at home March 5, but dropped the second encounter March 8, 16-7, forcing the mini-game. Yakiel Perez scored a three-point goal that Syracuse.com writer Lindsay Kramer called “bizarre.”
Nate Bourdeau gave the Silver Knights a 2-0 edge 1:34 into the mini-game. But the that encounter turned at 8:40.
This is how Kramer described the goal:
Defender Darren Toby tried to play the ball of his zone along the left side while Syracuse goalie Bryan O’Quinn wandered outside his crease to create opportunity for an outlet pass there, but he was covered.
Toby, a good 40 feet away from his net, fired a hard shot that bounced off the head of Perez directly in front of him. The ball looped into the air toward the Syracuse net while O’Quinn sprinted back. The goalie lunged for the ball and swatted it out of the air near the goal line, but the ball was ruled to have crossed it for a score.
O’Quinn and Tanner argued the ruling, but it stood for a 3-2 Lancers lead. Syracuse pressured for the rest of the game but couldn’t put any more points on the board.