CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Rochester Lancers had problems finding their footing early as they suffered the consequences in a 7-4 defeat to the Iowa Raptors in a Major Arena Soccer League 2 match at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse Arena on Saturday night.
Rochester (7-2-0, 20 points) had its four-game winning streak snapped as Iowa (6-2-2, 20) moved into a first-place tie with the visitors, in the North Division. The Lancers have three games remaining in the regular, the Raptors two. The teams will meet for the division title next weekend in East Rochester, N.Y.
Konrad Zydowicz, Andriy Demydiv, August Finn and Frank Ciliberto scored for the Lancers, who rallied for three fourth-quarter goals in their late rally. They also killed off a pair of power plays during the game.
Jacob Johnson led the Raptors with a brace.
Head coach Jake Schindler, who suffered a sprained ankle in the home win over the Muskegon Risers last Saturday, played.
The Lancers, however, were missing several players. That included veterans Joey Tavernese and Darren Toby, Matt D’Amico, who suffered an injury last week, Eduardo Figueroa, who recorded a hat-trick against Muskegon, Vadim Cojocov and Domenico Vitale.
Iowa scored within the opening two minutes of each of the first three periods.
The Raptors dominated possession from the opening kickoff as they tallied three goals in the first quarter and another in the second to grab a 4-0 halftime advantage.
Patrick Kelly lifted the hosts into the lead only 99 seconds into the match off a free kick. Will Davis doubled the lead, heading home a Ricardo Orozco feed past goalkeeper Jakeb Mitchell at 4:08. Johnson, off another Orozco assist, increased the Raptors’ margin to 3-0, connecting from the right side at 6:08.
Lionel Meleki scored 62 seconds into the second period, striking from the right side into the opposite corner.
Johnson connected for his second goal only 33 seconds into the third quarter before Zydowicz headed in a rebound off the top of the goal past keeper Jesus Ortiz at 7:08.
Lancers defender Alex Harling donned a yellow shirt as the Lancers’ sixth attacker as Mitchell went to the bench at the start of the fourth quarter. Depending on the situation, Harling was replaced by Mitchell.
Ayo Adebayo scored at 3:48 for a 6-1 lead before Demydiv got one back, striking at the far left post off a nifty feed. Angelo Oquendo restored Iowa’s five-goal margin at 7:43.
Finn and Ciliberto tallied the final two goals at 11:16 and 12:41, respectively, for the visitors.
The Lancers will try to rebound against the Iowa Demon Hawks at the same venue on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
They will return home to host the Raptors in their final two home matches of the campaign next weekend. The teams will meet at the Total Sports Experience on Friday, March 24 and again on Saturday, March 25. Kickoff for both matches is 7:45 p.m.