Jakeb's Ladder: Mitchell outstanding (33 saves) as Lancers sweep Demon Hawks, move into 2nd place



EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Goalkeeper Jakeb Mitchell was outstanding, making 33 saves, to pace the Rochester Lancers to a 4-2 victory over the Iowa Demon Hawks in a Major Arena Soccer League 2 match at the Rochester Regional Health Total Sports Experience on Saturday night.


The win gave the Lancers (5-1-0, 14 points) a two-game weekend sweep of the Demon Hawks (6-3-1, 18), and boosted the team into second place in the Northern Division. Rochester and the Iowa Raptors (4-1-2, 14) have the same number of points, but the Lancers have a better goal differential (+11 to +4). The Lancers have four games in hand on the Demon Hawks, and one on the Raptors.


With the game knotted up at 2-2 in the fourth quarter, a pair of power-play goals within a 92-second span decided matters. Tamas Nagy lifted the Lancers into the lead at 13:04 before Alex Harling gave the hosts some breathing room at 14:36. Darren Toby assisted on both scores.


Jonathan Cohen and August Finn also found the net for Rochester, which never trailed the Demon Hawks this weekend.


The host side took a 2-1 lead into the locker room after a low-scoring opening half.


The Lancers struck for the first two goals, one in each quarter.


Cohen scored his first goal of the season 2:17 after the opening kickoff as he tapped in a rebound past goalkeeper Rainer Hauss.


Finn doubled the lead at 7:21 of the second period. Mitchell Brickman sent a long ball off the glass in the right corner and Finn hammered the ball home on Rochester's first shot of the quarter. Iowa had taken the first 10 shots of the period.


The Demon Hawks finally solved goalkeeper Mitchell as Quentin Arnaud scored from in close after the visitors had a 3-on-2 break at 8:22. Bruno Henrique assisted.


After the Lancers successfully killed off an Iowa power play, they thought they had recorded a power-play goal as the visitors were called for having six players on the carpet, with 12 seconds remaining in the period.


It appeared a Rochester shot had entered the goal at 1:48 of the third period, but the game officials did not award one.


The Demon Hawks managed to equalize at 6:17 as Henrique scored his 16th goal of the season, against the run of play, off a Diego Pantuza feed.


The Lancers, however, connected on consecutive power plays to grab a 4-2 advantage. With Arnaud serving a penalty, Nagy scored from the left side after a neat passing combination from Toby, Jake Schindler and Harling, at 13:04.


After Iowa's Murilo Ceruli was assessed a blue card for fouling Nagy from behind, Harling boomed a hard shot from the right side, off a Toby feed, with only five seconds remaining to boost the hosts into a two-goal margin.


The Lancers will remain home for their next two matches. They will host the Muskegon Risers at TSE on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11. Both games kick off at 7:45 p.m.


Rochester will hit the road for a pair of games in Cedar Rapids, Iowa later that month, playing at the Raptors on Saturday, March 18 and at the Demon Hawks on Sunday, March 19. The Lancers will finish their regular season with another weekend doubleheader. They will host the Raptors at TSE on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25. Both contests also will start at 7:45 p.m.