ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Davia Rossi scored twice in the first half to pace the Albany Rush to a 4-0 victory over the Rochester Lady Lancers in a United Women’s Soccer match at Charles A. Schiano Sr. Field at Aquinas Institute on Sunday afternoon.
Albany (2-3-1) found the net early and late in the opening half against Rochester (0-8-0).
Only 14 seconds into the contest, the Lady Lancers found themselves behind the eight ball. Aided by a Rochester defensive error, Rossi beat goalkeeper Mackenzie Nolan from 10 yards on the left side for her first goal of the season.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Rossi found the net again. This time Olivia Piraino sent a right-wing cross into the area and the forward slotted the ball home for a two-goal advantage. Seconds after Rossi scored, the first half was whistled over.
Regardless of the two goals, Nolan was outstanding in the opening 45 minutes.
The hosts’ most memorable defensive sequence came in the 36th and 37th minutes, both times denying and frustrating Alexis Horwedel. Nolan parried away Horwedel’s effort before Kenzie Tarmino cleared the Albany attacker’s shot off the line with her back heel.
Nolan also stopped Piraino from close range on the right side of the box in the 43rd minute.
In an attempt to give his team fresh legs on a hot sunny day, Lady Lancers head coach Marc Dall made six substitutions for the second half. Albany, which had only four bench players available, replaced goalkeeper Kyla Burns with Emma Anderson.
The Rush added two goals in the second half. Horwedel, off a Lindsey Matthews pass, fired home a 25-yard shot for a 3-0 margin in the 71st minute before recent high school graduate Melissa Mastrocco closed out the scoring, tallying from 25 yards in the 86th minute.
Forward Claire Meyers produced Rochester’s best scoring opportunities. She forced Anderson to make a diving save on a 10-yard shot in the 61st minute. Meyer stole the ball from an Albany defender in the 72nd minute as she powered a 22-yard shot off the crossbar.
Taylor Gray, who replaced Nolan at halftime, made a vital stop on Piraino in the 82nd minute.
Midfielder Elysia Masters, who recently earned her doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester and an original member of the Lady Lancers, played her final game. She will be moving down to Arkansas with her husband next week to start her career as a researcher with the Food and Drug Administration.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Lancers men faced the Erie Commodores in a National Premier Soccer League match.
The Lady Lancers will host Syracuse DA in its final home game of the UWS season on Sunday, June 27 at 2 p.m. at Aquinas before they close out the campaign with two road matches.