CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Rochester Lancers dropped their second game at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse Arena in less than 24 hours, losing to the Iowa Demon Hawks, 8-2, in a Major Arena Soccer League 2 match on Sunday afternoon.
The Demon Hawks (7-4-1, 21 points, playing in their final game of the campaign, took over first place in the North Division. However, since the Lancers (7-3-0, 20) and Iowa Raptors (6-2-2, 20) will play each other twice in their last season finales in East Rochester, N.Y., next weekend, the Demon Hawks cannot win the division crown.
Bruno Henrique led the Demon Hawks with a hat-trick.
Konrad Zydowicz and Joe Balls scored for Rochester, which lost to the Raptors, 7-4, on Saturday night.
In marked contrast to Saturday match, the Lancers came out much stronger against the Demon Hawks. Yet, they found themselves facing a two-goal deficit after the opening quarter.
Iowa managed to kill off an early Rochester power play with goalkeeper Rainer Hauss making five saves during the two-minute penalty, including two apiece on Alex Harling and August Finn.
The Demon Hawks drew first blood at 6:12 when Henrique fired a shot from the left side into the opposite corner. The hosts doubled the lead at 7:57 when Guilherme Dos Santos tallied off a fine volley from a corner kick past goalkeeper Daniel Maddock.
The Lancers sliced the lead in half at 8:05 when Zydowicz drilled a free kick through a three-man wall.
Iowa restored its two-goal margin with Enrique’s second goal at 6:16 of the second period.
Rochester moved within a goal, 3-2, once again as Balls put in his own rebound at 7:10 of the third quarter. However, Caio Augusto Ruiz increased the Demon Hawks’ lead to 4-2 only 41 seconds later at 7:51.
The fourth quarter was all Iowa, as the host side scored four times. Dos Santos tallied his second goal of the day off a left-footed strike at 1:52 before Ruiz recorded his brace on a close-range free kick at 4:31 for a 6-2 margin.
With Harling wearing the orange jersey as the sixth attacker, the Lancers allowed two empty goals in the waning minutes – by Diego Pantuza (11:32) and Henrique (11:43).
In what is expected to be a dramatic and historic weekend, the Lancers will wrap up the regular season against the Raptors at Total Sports Experience in East Rochester, N.Y. They will host Iowa on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25. Both games kick off at 7:45 p.m.