ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Lancers embark on their most ambitious weekend of the Major Arena Soccer League season this week, playing three games within a 44-hour period.
Rochester kicks it off with two games at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, N.Y., hosting Utica City FC on Friday and then the Baltimore Blast on Saturday — both games start at 7 p.m. — before traveling to Utica to meet its upstate rivals for a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee meeting.
The Lancers (0-16), who have been eliminated from playoff contention, are coming off a 14-3 defeat the Florida Tropics on Saturday in which Michael Cunningham, David Wright and Anthony Rozzano scored goals. For the season, they are led by Jeremy Ortiz, Rozzano and Cunningham, who have seven goals apiece. Rookies Diego Mayanga and Matt D’Amico each have contributed a team-high seven assists.
Utica City FC (11-3), which is in second place in the Eastern Division, lead the season series, 2-0, defeating Rochester in its return to the MASL at the Dome, 9-1, on Nov. 29 and 11-3, at home on Feb. 9. Forward Bo Jelovac recorded a hat-trick in the latter.
The club is coming off a successful trip to north Texas as it recorded wins on successive nights. On Feb. 13, Moises Gonzalez, Uros Momic and Jelovac scored two goals apiece in an 8-5 triumph over the Mesquite Outlaws. On Feb. 14, goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin made three shootout saves to lead the team to an 8-7 victory over the Dallas Sidekicks. Gonzalez had a hat-trick and Jake Schindler added two goals.
There are many familiar names and faces on Utica, including former indoor Lancers stars Schindler of Irondequoit, N.Y. and Mauricio Salles. Four standouts from the team’s outdoor National Premier Soccer League side also have played important roles for Utica — Nate Bourdeau, Darren Toby, Coughlin and Momic.
Jelovic leads Utica with 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points, followed by Gonzalez (15 goals, 10 assists) and midfielder Cristhian Seguara (16 goals, 7 assists).
After this weekend, the Lancers will have five games remaining in the season. They visit the Baltimore Blast on Saturday, Feb. 29 before they return to the Dome Arena for their final homestand of the season. They welcome the Tropics on Friday, March 6 and then the Kansas City Comets on Saturday, March 7 Both contests begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets for all Lancers’ home games can be purchased at RLancers.com or at the Dome box office on game day.