ROCHESTER, N.Y. – In an entertaining match that delighted spectators but not necessarily the coaches, the Rochester Lancers fell, 3-2, to the Pittsburgh Hotspurs in a National Premier Soccer League game at Charlies A. Schiano Sr. Field at Aquinas Institute on Sunday evening.
Pittsburgh defender Owain Hawkins snapped a 2-2 tie in the 46th minute to lift (4-1-2, 12 points) while the Lancers (4 points) dropped to 1-3-1 in the Rust Belt Conference Division.
In a high-scoring first half, Rochester spotted the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute before finding the net twice within a six-minute span.
The Hotspurs scored against the run of play as Tate Mohney, from just outside the right edge of the area, fired a one-bounce shot past goalkeeper Brian Wilkin into the lower right corner.
The Lancers continued to control play and their efforts paid off only three minutes later. Harry Fuller intercepted a Pittsburgh pass and drilled a shot that goalkeeper Jackson Brandwene saved, but left the rebound. Lukas Fernandes then slotted home the ball for a 1-1 tie.
In the 29th minute, Greece Athena High School graduate Antonio La Gamba tallied his first goal as a Lancer to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage. Fernandes sent a left-wing cross into the box that was headed toward the net by a teammate. The clearance went right to La Gamba, who connected from atop the area.
Pittsburgh, however, was far from finished as Lucas Godinho was credited with a goal and a 2-2 deadlock in the 44th minute, even though it appeared the ball had crossed the end line seconds prior.
After Wilkin was called on to make a close-range save only seconds into the final half, Hawkins half-volleyed home a corner kick to boost the visitors into a 3-2 lead that they never relinquished.
The Hotspurs tightened up their defense in the second half, limiting the Lancers to just a handful of chances. Rochester’s best opportunity came from Daniel Reger’s header in stoppage time, but his attempt was cleared off the line by a Pittsburgh defender.
The club bid farewell to team president of operations Ashley Maria King Solomianko, who worked her final Lady Lancers games. Solomianko is moving to Florida with her husband, Dr. Marek Solomianko. After a United Women’s Soccer team dropped out during the spring of 2017, Solomianko created the Lady Lancers and just two weeks they were ready to compete.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Lady Lancers dropped a 1-0 decision to the Lancaster Inferno in UWS action.
The Lancers will return home for the first of their two final home matches of the season on Sunday, June 20, when they host the Erie Commodores at Aquinas at 5 p.m. A week later on Sunday, June 27, they will welcome Syracuse FC for a 5 p.m. match-up. The Lady Lancers will play in the first game of the doubleheader at 2 p.m. each Sunday.