ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Lancers will hit the road for the first time this Major Arena Soccer League season as they will try to register their first win vs. the Harrisburg Heat at the Farm Show Arena Saturday night.
They marked their return to MASL with a pair of home matches at the Dome Arena over Thanksgiving weekend. Rochester (0-2) dropped its season opener to Utica City FC, 9-1, on Friday and lost a 12-3 decision to the Heat on Saturday.
Local product and rookie Matt D’Amico, a Pittsford Mendon High School standout, scored the Lancers’s first MASL goal since the 2014-15 season in the opener as Rafa Godoi, co-captain Michael Cunningham and Alex Harling found the net in the second match. Co-captain Anthony Rozzano recorded two assists Saturday.
Rookie goalkeeper Christian Esposito made 42 saves in both games. He came off the bench to replace the injured John Ciavaglia early in the Heat encounter and produced 23 saves.
The Lancers, who finished third in M2 last year, are competing in the MASL for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
“We get to go down to them and steal a game,” Lancers head coach Doug Miller said. “I think we’ve learned a lot. We’re going to watch some film, give guys an education on what they need to improve on. And then hopefully we can match the intensity.”
The Heat, which opened its season in Rochester, was led by midfielder Dom Francis, who was named to the MASL team of the week after his three-goal, one-assist performance. Julian Escobar and Daniel Villela added two goals apiece. Goalkeepers Jesus Molina and William Banahene, a former Brighton High School soccer star, each played a half.
Coached by Pat Healey, Harrisburg (1-0) is tied for the Eastern Conference lead along with the defending champion Milwaukee Wave (1-0) and Florida Tropics (1-0).
Saturday’s game can be seen live on MASL.TV.
These two teams will tussle again at the Farm Show Arena on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:05 p.m.
The Lancers then will have a week off before returning to action with back-to-back home matches on Christmas weekend. They will host the Heat again the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y. on Friday, Dec. 27 and the Baltimore Blast on Saturday, Dec. 28. Both contests kick off at 7 p.m.