Lukas Fernandes scored a goal, set up another and suffered an ankle injury. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Lancers)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Lancers’ hopes of reaching the National Premier Soccer League playoffs took a hit as they lost to Erie Commodores FC, 5-2, at Charles A. Schiano Sr. Field at Aquinas Institute on Sunday evening.
Harry Fuller and Lukas Fernandes scored for Rochester (1-4-1, 4 points) against Erie (1-4-1, 4), which registered its first win of the season.
In a first half that sometimes resembled more of an indoor game than an outdoor match, five goals were scored as Commodores FC grabbed a 3-2 halftime advantage.
The Lancers drew first blood in the 16th minute under unusual circumstances. Only a minute prior, Fuller was forced from the field to get bandaged up due to blood on his right arm. After returning, he didn’t waste much time, running onto an August Finn free kick and beating goalkeeper Luis Ramirez from 16 yards for his first goal of the season. It also was Finn’s first assist of the year.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to equalize as Cian Lynch’s header found an unmarked Hamza Mourchid in front of the goal and the Erie player slotted home past keeper Brian Wilkin for a 1-1 tie in the 25th minute.
Fuller turned playmaker in the 36th minute, penetrating into the penalty area on the right flank before sending a cross to Fernandes. The Lancers forward then slotted the ball into the net from close range for his third goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.
Erie, however, refused to wilt. Austin Solomon dummied pass to allow Lynch to take a shot from distance on the right side. Calum Ferguson then redirected the shot for the goal and a 2-2 deadlock in 40th minute.
Commodores FC took the lead for the first time on defender Ash Phillips’ 45th-minute penalty kick, although that goal had plenty of drama.
A minute prior, Wilkin took down Ferguson in the box. On the ensuing spot kick that the Rochester goalkeeper dived to his right and saved the attempt. An Erie player put home the rebound, but the referee claimed that a Commodores FC player encroached, and the kick needed to be retaken.
Given a second life, this time Phillips converted as he rifled a shot to the right side as Wilkin went in the opposite direction as Erie took a 3-2 lead.
During first-half stoppage time, Fernandes suffered an ankle injury and needed to be replaced by Rafa Godoi at the start of the second half.
Erie increased the margin to 4-2 in the 54th minute as Mourchid drilled a shot from the top of the box that hit the left post and bounced into the net.
Lynch finished the scoring for Erie in the 87th minute.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Lady Lancers dropped a 4-0 decision to the Albany Rush in a United Women’s Soccer contest.
The Lancers close out their regular season home schedule against Syracuse SC on Sunday, June 27 at 5 p.m.
The Lady Lancers meet Syracuse DA in the first game of the doubleheader in a UWS match at 2 p.m.
After next Sunday, the Rochester men will play their final two matches of the regular season on the road.