June 10, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. - For the second consecutive week, the Rochester Lady Lancers rallied in the second half to register a victory.
Last Sunday, the Lancers recorded a 2-0 home win over FC Buffalo with a pair of second-half scores.
On Friday evening, they did it the hard away, overcoming a one-goal deficit late in the match, striking off two corner kicks to earn a 2-1 triumph past FC Berlin at Coyer Field at Buffalo State.
As it turned out, the Lady Lancers' offense came from their defense.
Caroline Kopp scored the equalizer in the 79th minute and Jenna Tivnan connected for the game-winner in the 82nd minute in the Penn-NY Division encounter.
Rochester (6 points) improved to 2-1 and climbed into second place, a point behind FC Buffalo (2-1-1, 7) while FC Berlin (3) dropped to 0-2-3.
"For a moment or two you're thinking as a coach, are we're going to get out of here with any points and then within a short span, the match is tied up and then we're ahead," Lady Lancers head coach Adam Schwartz said. "It was a massive momentum swing."
For a good portion of the match, the visitors were thwarted by a superb performance by goalkeeper Hannah Johnson, who continually denied and frustrated Rochester.
"When the keeper made a couple of point-blank shot saves, you start to scratch your head and go, 'Oh, is it going to be one of these evenings?' " Schwartz said. "We probably should have scored on a couple of opportunities, but I don't want to take anything away from their paper either because she was phenomenal."
Only 25 seconds into the second half, the hosts drew first blood as Simone Timm headed in Tegan Morrison's right-wing cross from close range past goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti. Timm celebrated with a flip.
"All of our players are pushing forward, and they whip a ball in but behind our back line," Schwartz said. "Now they’re attacking and then next thing you know, their players drive in the endline and serves the ball in, and they finish it."
For many teams, allowing a goal in the opening minute of a half would be devastating. Instead, Rochester picked itself right up and continued to attack.
"We are blessed," Schwartz said. We have an excellent mix mixture of veteran players that have been there, done that. A goal down isn't the end of the world. We had the entire half to try to recover. You just don't panic. You stay the course you keep playing your system of play. You just have to have faith in the process that eventually we're going to get one."
Actually, the Lady Lancers got two.
They finally broke through and knotted the match up within a three-minute span off two corner kicks by captain Brooke Barbuto.
Kopp scored her first Rochester goal, heading in the corner for a 1-1 tie.
"We were playing well. We just wanted to finish it," Schwartz said. "To get that one goal lifted a little bit of a burden from our team and then the second one was huge."
Indeed, it was.
Just three minutes later, Barbuto sent another corner kick into the box from the right side. A scramble ensued as FC Berlin had problems clearing the ball. Meg Root, who joined the team this past week, got a foot on it before Tivnan knocked the ball home from point-blank range and a 2-1 advantage.
"Brooke's service into the box was excellent," Schwartz said. "The thing about a corner kick is that if you don't hit it correctly, you have most of your players running towards the goal and the other team heads it out there to counterattack the other way. The service is really important."
Friday night's match was the first of four straight away games for Rochester.
The Lady Lancers will continue on the road as they will meet Erie Commodores FC at Tulio Field at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
"Our goal is to try to get six points this weekend," Schwartz said. "We're halfway there. Sunday's going to be a challenge to turn around and play a day or so later. Probably have to depend on more substitutions maybe earlier in the match, but a but we're looking forward to the opportunity."
They will return home to play their final three games of the regular season against FC Berlin at Aquinas Institute on Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m.
The Rochester Lancers are the oldest professional soccer brand in the United States, dating back to 1967.