June 12, 2022
SO CLOSE: Late goal denies Lady Lancers a perfect weekend on the road, settle for a draw at Erie
ERIE, Pa. - A goal three minutes into second-half stoppage time denied the Rochester Lady Lancers a victory and another three points on their western road swing this weekend.
Kayla Bevacqua's dramatic 20-yard free kick lifted Erie Commodores FC into a 2-2 United Women's Soccer draw with the Lady Lancers at Tulio Field on the Mercyhurst University campus in Erie, Pa. on Sunday.
"For them to get the equalizer in extra time, is just a heart-breaker," Lancers head coach Adam Schwartz said.
"If we would have won, we would be in the driver's seat. We're obviously still in the mix to win our division. But You hate to leave those two points out there."
The result moved Rochester (6 points), which has a three-match unbeaten streak, to 2-1-1 in the Penn-NY Division while Erie (9) is 2-0-3.
The Lady Lancers finished the weekend undefeated at 1-0-1 and with four points after registering a 2-1 win at FC Berlin in Buffalo, N.Y. on Friday night. That result broke a seven-game road losing streak that went back to a 3-1 win at New Jersey Copa on June 7, 2019.
"It certainly felt like a win for them and their fans," Schwartz said. "But for us, it felt like a loss. We have high expectations this year and we're just not satisfied."
"Soccer can be an unforgiving game sometimes. You can have a dominant performance and really quote unquote, be a better team and still lose. I guess why they say we play the game. Their coach was very complimentary of our team."
Rochester dominated the opening half but could solve goalkeeper Morgan Sinan only once.
The hosts, however, grabbed the lead in the 29th minute when Brooklyn Respecki split two defenders before depositing the ball past goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti for her fourth goal this season.
"I thought for the most part we were dominant for a lot of the play in terms of possessing the ball and having the better opportunities," Schwartz said. "But it's tough. They had two golden opportunities and they finished both."
It didn't take the Lady Lancers long to equalize as Hannah Knych headed in the first of her two goals, off Brooke Barbuto's corner kick, from the right side in the 34th minute.
Knych snapped a 1-1 deadlock in the 51st minute to give the visitors a 2-1 edge, scoring from the left side of the penalty area off a Barbuto assist. Those were Knych's first two goals of the season.
Barbuto, the team captain, set up all four goals on the trip and has five assists in the four games she has played.
"Two fantastic goals for us," Schwartz said. "That was the highlight of the day, for sure."
With time winding down in injury time, a Rochester player was called for a hand ball two yards outside of the penalty. Bevacqua then drilled her shot from the right side into the lower left corner past a diving Cappelletti for the draw.
Even though Rochester did not come home with six points, Schwartz has seen an improvement since the season-opening loss at FC Buffalo.
"The more we play together and get to know one another, I like to think the better we'll get," he said. "From our first match to this match, I think we have steadily improved and getting to know one another and each individual's tendencies, their strengths. I just hope we can take this weekend with four points and roll from it as a team."
This weekend's games were the first of four straight away games for Rochester.
The Lady Lancers will continue on the road as they will visit the Pittsburgh Hotspurs on June 18 and and FC Buffalo on June 24.
They will return home to play their final three games of the regular season against FC Berlin at Aquinas Institute on June 26, June 2 and Erie on July 10. All home games kick off at 2 p.m.