Brian Wilkin was spectacular for Rochester in the net. (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)
HENRIETTA, N.Y. — Brian Wilkin put on a goalkeeping clinic to keep the Rochester Lancers in the game as they dropped an 8-2 decision in Major Arena Soccer League action to Utica City FC at the Dome Arena on Friday night.
Wilkin, who last missed last week’s game at the Florida Tropics due to esophagus surgery, made 26 saves, some of them spectacular, in the Major Arena Soccer League game.
The Hilton High School and Nazareth College product made a spectacular one-handed save on Cristhian Segura’s shot from deep in his own territory with a minute remaining in the first half. His finest moments, however, came in the third quarter when he produced six saves, most of them spectacular, within a 1:45 span late in the period. He denied Onua Obasi three times, Moises Gonzalez twice and James Togbah once.
As well as Wilkin played, he could not stop Utica (12-3) on every shot. Former Rochester Rhinos standout Nate Bourdeau and Segura each finished with a hat-trick. Irondequoit, N.Y. native Jake Schindler chipped in with two assists for the visitors, who extended their winning streak to six games.
Anthony Rozzano and Rafa Godoi scored for the Lancers (0-17)
Utica grabbed a 2-0 lead after the opening period. An unmarked Bo Jelovac scored his 13th goal of the season, as he tapped home a cross-field pass from Segura on the far post at 3:12. Gonzalez, the MASL player of the week, doubled the lead at 7:07 as he hit a hard strike from the right side past Wilkin.
Rochester came very close to scoring in the final seconds of the quarter as rookie Matt D’Amico’s attempt tantalizingly rolled across the goal line with keeper Andrew Coughlin slightly out of position.
The visitors tallied the lone goal of the second quarter as they extended their lead to 3-0. Segura scored a typical indoor score goal as he corralled a long pass from Coughlin and fired a shot off the boards. The ball came back to Segura, who slotted it home.
Only 42 seconds into the second half, Rozzano put his name on the scoresheet for Rochester, drilling a counterattack goal from the right side to cut the deficit to 3-1. Utica, however, struck back on Segura’s second goal as he put home the ball after a kick save by Wilkin. Bourdeau helped the visiting side pull away by scoring twice to grab a 6-1 advantage, finding the net at 6:51 and 8:27.
Rafa Godoi pulled one back for the Lancers at 3:24 in the fourth quarter. Segura had a hand in Utica’s final two goals, scoring at 11:40 and setting up Bourdeau’s third with 32 seconds remaining. Segura tried to chip Wilkin again from long range, but the goalkeeper managed to get a hand on it. The rebound, however, went to an onrushing Bourdeau, who slotted it home.
The Lancers will have an opportunity to bounce back against the Baltimore Blast at the Dome Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game are available at RLancers.com or can be purchased at the Dome Arena on game day.
They won’t have too much time to rest after the match as they travel across the New York Thruway east to Utica to take on their Friday night foes on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Sunday’s game will be streamed on MASL.TV.