February 3, 2024
EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Rochester Lancers continued their torrid start to the Major Arena Soccer League 2 season, remaining unbeaten in five games with another big win on Saturday night.
Rookie forward Ali Alomari scored four goals and assisted on another and Ryan Curtis contributed a hat-trick as the Lancers recorded a 10-4 victory over Atletico Orlando at the Regional Health Total Sports Experience.
Darren Toby, August Finn and Davinson Diaz also found the net for Rochester (5-0-0, 15 points), which extended its lead to nine points over United Elite Krajisnik FC (2-4-0, 6) in the North Division. The Lancers have scored 10 or more goals in each of their five contests.
The Lancers, who recorded a 12-4 triumph over Orlando here on Friday night, were relentless as they kept the ball in the attacking zone for huge stretches of the match. They combined an incessant press and the ability to win 50-50 and second balls while dominating Orlando (1-3).
Goalkeeper Alastair Farmer, who made his first start of the season, was rarely tested.
In contrast to Friday’s game in which they were scoreless in the opening quarter, it took the Lancers only 18 seconds to find the goal on Saturday night. Alomari had the honors, powering a shot from just outside the penalty area into the upper right corner.
Alomari also celebrated scoring the second goal after Orlando was penalized for having too many men on the field. On the ensuing power play, the Yemen international forward fired a free kick past keeper Jorge Ortiz for a two-goal advantage at 3:45.
For the Lancers' third goal, Alomari turned playmaker, setting up Darren Toby for his first tally of the campaign. The veteran defender tapped home Alomari's feed at the far-right post at 6:26.
During the media timeout at 8:50, Orlando switched goalies, as Ricardo Atencio replaced Ortiz.
With two seconds remaining in the quarter, the Lancers attempted a corner kick as Ryan Curtis slotted home a Diaz feed at the buzzer.
Only 20 seconds into the second period, Alomari got his hat-trick as his shot from the left side bounded off Atencio and into the net for a five-goal margin.
Orlando snapped Farmer's shutout bid at 12:37. Victor Rada scored his sixth goal of the season off an assist by Rodrigo Kauffman, shrinking Rochester's halftime lead to 5-1.
Rochester continued its streak of scoring in the opening minute of the period as Finn hit paydirt, converting a rebound past Ortiz, who returned in goal, 56 seconds into the third quarter for his third tally of the season.
Alomari continued his personal showcase at 11:11 as he fired in a Jake Schindler feed for his team-leading 12th goal of the campaign.
Curtis stole the ball from an Orlando player and started a two-man breakaway with Tamas Nagy. Nagy returned the ball to Curtis, who scored with three seconds left in the quarter for an 8-1 advantage.
Former Lancers and Rochester Rhinos standout JP Reyes set up the visitors' second goal with a long pass from the right side that Kauffman headed past Farmer at 5:24 of the final period. Only 20 seconds later, Orlando took advantage of a Lancers defensive mistake to move within 8-3 on Daniel Aular's score.
Lancers captain Alex Harling set up the hosts' ninth goal off a nice run down the right flank, passing to Curtis at the far post at 6:34.
Diaz ensured the Lancers hit double figures in goals for their fifth consecutive match, scoring at 7:37.
Reyes converted a free kick at 12:34 for the final goal of the encounter.
With 1:32 remaining in the match, Orlando’s Albert Ortiz was send off after incurring his second yellow card.
The Lancers will take a three-week break before returning to action in the last week of February.
They will host Baltimore Arsenal here on Friday, 23and Saturday, Feb. 24. Two weeks later, the team will welcome Athletic Orlando again, on Friday, March 8and Saturday, March 9. All home games kick off at 7:45 p.m.
After taking a week off, Rochester visits Baltimore at Towson Arena in Towson, Md. on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m.
The Lancers will finish their regular season schedule the following week at home as they will tussle with Krajisnik FC at TST on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23.