BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Rochester Lady Lancers dropped a 4-0 decision to FC Buffalo in their United Women’s Soccer season opener at Dobson Field on Saturday afternoon.
FC Buffalo (2-0-1), which had two matches under its belt entering the game, took an early lead in the Penn-NY Division encounter.
Rochester had several players missing from its lineup due to previous commitments, including midfielder Brooke Barbuto, the 2018 league MVP.
“We had a lot of moving parts, players, introducing themselves in the dressing room,” head coach Adam Schwartz said. “We haven’t had a lot of training sessions with our entire team. It showed obviously, in the beginning of the match. Then we kind of settled in and we played some quality football for a good portion of the game. As we carried on into the second half our fitness caught up to us a bit.”
Prior to kickoff, Schwartz spoke to the team.
“I even told the girls in the dressing room, it’s about progress, not perfection,” he said. “There’s no such thing as perfection in soccer. The first bullet I had on the board was patience, patience with each other and patience with the process. We can’t wave a magic wand and make it all happen. This was the first match where we’ve been able to see as a new coaching staff how some of these kids perform in a match. So, you know, we can take that information and data and, and now we have a much better idea of where players fit in the grand scheme of things.”
Team captain Carissima Cutrona scored twice – on goal on either side of halftime. Tess Ford and Taty Scalisi also tallied for Buffalo.
The hosts grabbed the lead two minutes after the opening kickoff as Cutrona scored from the middle of the penalty area past goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti.
Eight minutes later, FC Buffalo doubled its advantage as Tess Ford converted defender Erin Weir’s corner kick at the near post.
Cutrona made it 3-0 in the 64th minute, racing down the right flank alone before firing a shot past Cappelletti.
Scalisi added a goal in the 74th minute.
Cappelletti was sharp during the afternoon. She denied Cutrona on a breakaway in the 41st minute and stopped her shot from distance in the 67th minute before saving Scalisi’s attempt four minutes later.
The Lancers goalkeeper also saved Scalisi’s 86th-minute penalty kick.
“She’s tremendous,” Schwartz said. “That gives us hope to because I believe, you build from the back forward, and she’s certainly the real deal. As we get a couple of our defenders back next week, we’ll be able to give her more support, but she was tremendous today. Very proud of her.”
Schwartz thought midfielder Zoe Janes played well, as did Jisela Dall and Taylor Ashe, who performed in the back. Three high school players also competed in the match, including Fairport midfielder Kaitlyn Diem.
“We put her in in second half and she was very impressive,” he said. “He’s very tall at 5-10, but she really performed well. It was good to see some of the youth perform.”
Despite the loss, Schwartz was excited about the squad’s future.
“The coaching staff was really excited because we certainly saw moments of quality and the potential for greatness,” he said. “We’re going to get back to work this week and train and push forward next weekend. We should have a full lineup. I’m looking forward to that.”
Rochester will have an opportunity to avenge the defeat as it hosts FC Buffalo in their home opener at Charles A. Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y. on Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m.
Admission is free, but all attendees are encouraged to donate to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.
The original Rochester Lancers were formed in 1967 and continue to be the oldest professional soccer brand in America.
FrontRowSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis has written a new book, ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. You can learn more about it or purchase it here: