ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sal Galvano could not have asked any more of his Rochester Lady Lancers team on Sunday afternoon.
The head coach saw his team battle the undefeated Connecticut Fusion to a 2-2 draw at Charles A. Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute, even though the visitors scored the equalizer in the 88th minute in the United Women’s Soccer match.
“The girls played unbelievable,” Galvano said.
The tie left the Lady Lancers at 1-2-2 and five points while Connecticut move to 3-0-2 and eight points.
“I got what I expected from my team,” Galvano said. “We had good energy, good attitudes. I expected them to give me their all and they did. They gave me everything I expected. I couldn’t have asked for more of my players.
“We outplayed them. We out-possessed them. Good game both ways, but we definitely redeemed ourselves today. We should have won.”
Galvano made some tactical changes and went to three defenders in the back.
“The girls bought into it right away,” he said. “This was something we talked about this week coming into this game. We knew we were playing Connecticut early on in the year. We knew their weaknesses and we did a great job with that. But they’re a great team. You can’t give them an inch because they’ll punish you. That’s what they did late in the game with us. They only had a few quality opportunities.”
While it wasn’t the three points that he had hoped his team would take from the game, Galvano said that his team still was in contention for one of the four playoff spots in the East Division.
“We’re not out of it,” he said. “I think we can finish strong. The cool thing is that the top four teams make the postseason. We’re just outside the top four. We still can make it to the postseason with what we have with the games remaining. We’re not out of the woods, we’re not safe. We still have a chance.”
One reason why Galvano was optimistic was the performance of goalkeeper Kenna Kosinski, who kept the hosts in the game in the second half with several big saves.
“She was the standout today, 100 percent. Played with a lot of courage,” he said.
Connecticut had taken a 1-0 lead on Brenna Brown’s header from the middle of the penalty area off a left-wing cross by Tori Sousa in the 20th minute.
Rochester knotted things up right before halftime as Elysia Masters sent a 25-yard rocket from the right side past goalkeeper Alessandra Augur.
The Lady Lancers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute as Taylor Wingerden drilled a 12-yard shot into the upper left corner from the right side.
“It couldn’t have been more perfect,” Galvano said.
The Fusion, however, tied it in the 88th minute on a goal by second-half substitute Julie Lavoie.
“A really bad goal for them to tie it up,” Galvano said.
The Lady Lancers will get next week off before returning to action for a pair of matches the weekend of June 21. They play at Syracuse DA on Friday, June 21 before returning to Aquinas to host the Worcester Smiles on Sunday, June 23 at 2 p.m.
“We’re still in it,” Galvano said. “We have Syracuse, Worcester, Copa, games that we can win.”