ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After two weekends on the road, the Rochester Lancers return home to play twice at the Dome Arena this weekend as they reach the midway point of the Major Arena Soccer League season.
Rochester welcomes the Baltimore Blast on Friday night as they will induct their first class into their indoor Wall of Fame. They host the St. Louis Ambush on Saturday night. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.
The Lancers (0-11) are coming off their first Midwest trip in the MASL in five years as they lost back-to-back games at the defending champion Milwaukee Wave on Saturday, 15-3, and at the Kansas City Comets less than 24 hours later on Sunday, 12-4.
Both games saw a pair of firsts for this young Lancers squad.
For the first time this season, the Lancers scored the opening goal in both contests.
Anthony Rozzano leads the Lancers (5 goals, 5 assists), followed by Matt D’Amico (2 goals, 5 assists). Jeremy Ortiz has chipped in four goals. In the Milwaukee match, D’Amico became first Rochester player to register three assists in a game this season.
In their previous encounter with the Blast, Rochester was shut out at the Dome Arena on Dec. 28, 11-0. Juan Pereira led the way with a hat-trick and Vinny Dantas and Tony Donatelli tallied two goals apiece for Baltimore, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Mohamed Ndiaye also collected a goal and four assists.
The Blast (6-6) will play at the Orlando Seawolves on Thursday night before flying into Rochester. In its two previous games, Baltimore defeated the San Diego Sockers at home last Saturday, 9-5, before falling at the Harrisburg Heat on Sunday, 7-4.
The team is paced by Dantas (20 goals, 7 assists), Donatelli (9 goals, 10 assists). Jonatas Melo and Pereira have contributed seven goals apiece.
Baltimore head coach Dan Kelly played with the Rochester Rhinos in their inaugural season in 1996 and is a former teammate of Lancers head coach Doug Miller on the Rhinos and Heat.
The Lancers will celebrate their history by inducting 20 individuals — players and staff members — into the first class of their Wall of Fame at halftime of their Blast game.
The honorees include:
Team staff: John Berardicurti, Gary Boughton, Tim Crawford, Dave DiPasquale, Elliot Fauske, Sean Hantes, Kyle Manscuk, Doug Miller, Jeremy Ortiz, Marc Sotile.
Game day staff: Andrew Battisti, Jeff Calkins, Joe Giuliano, Lyndsay Houghton, Kayla Klark Kent, Ashley Maria King, Michael Lewis, Kari Miller, Rocky Perrotta, Jill Rizzo.
“I am honored to recognize 20 key friends that have helped the Lancers since 2011,” Lancers owner Salvatore “SoccerSam Fantauzzo said.