HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Rochester Lancers made it interesting in the first half, but the Harrisburg Heat scored five times in the third quarter to pull away for a 13-3 Major Arena Soccer League win at the Farm Show Arena on Sunday evening.
Lancers nemesis Dom Francis, who has scored 14 goals against the club and 19 total this season, and JJ Gibson led the way with hat-tricks. David Miller added two goals. The Heat (7-3) swept the season series from the Lancers, 6-0, in the final game between these two clubs.
Frank Ciliberto, Anthony Rozzano and Peter DiLorenzo found the net for Rochester (0-9) in the opening half.
Veteran goalkeeper Marcelo Moreira, who signed with the Lancers earlier this week, made his season debut, playing the first three quarters. Christian Esposito took over in the final period.
Rochester was not at full strength as midfielder Gary Boughton did not make the trip due to the passing of his father.
Miller gave the hosts a 1-0 lead off a Danny DiPrima free kick. DiPrima passed to Miller, who slipped a side pass to Francis and the midfielder set up Miller on the right side. Harrisburg made it 2-0 at 7:48 as Francis struck for his first. splitting two defenders.
Ciliberto tallied his first goal of the season for Rochester against former Brighton High School star goalkeeper William Banahene, as he slotted home a rebound of a Rozzano shot at 13:29 to close out the quarter at 2-1.
The Heat restored their two-goal advantage as Gibson connected off a cross-field pass from Malcolm Harris at the left back post at 5:30 of the second period. After Rochester’s Diego Mayanga was sent off with a blue card for tripping, Elton de Oliveira scored a power-play goal at 7:26 before Rozzano found the range from the left corner at 8:19. Francis made it 5-2 as DiPrima set him up after a counterattack at 11:43.
The Lancers stunned the Heat with a goal with only 13 seconds remaining in the half as Peter DiLorenzo headed in an Alex Harling feed from the right side, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
Harrisburg, however, struck five times in the third quarter.
A great run by Miller, who drilled a shot from the top of the penalty arc, lifted Harrisburg to a 6-3 lead at 1:43. Francis got his hat-trick at 3:33 before Daniel Villela (power-play goal at 5:56) and Tavoy Morgan (12:05) closed out the scoring for Harrisburg in the period.
Gibson (1:44), Ty Hall (10:50) and Patrick Thompson (12:26) added fourth-quarter goals for the Heat.
The Lancers continue on the road next weekend as they visit the defending champion Milwaukee Wave on Saturday, Jan. 25 before taking on the host Kansas City Comets on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Both games can be viewed on MASL.tv.
They return home to the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y. for another weekend doubleheader later this month. Rochester welcomes the Baltimore Blast on Friday, Jan. 31 as they will induct 20 individuals into their Wall of Fame at halftime of the contest. The Lancers host the St. Louis Ambush on Saturday, Feb. 1. Both games start at 7 p.m.
Tickets are still available for both matches. They can be purchased at RLancers.com or at the Dome Arena box office on gameday.