ROCHESTER, N.Y. - So close, yet so far.


The Rochester Lancers rallied from a two-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to equalize but dropped a 5-4 decision to the Iowa Raptors in Major Arena Soccer League 2 action at the Unique Boutique Arena at the Total Sports Experience on Friday night.


The loss eliminated the Lancers from playoff contention as the Raptors clinched a berth to reach the M2 Final Four in Mesquite, Texas next weekend. It was Rochester's first home defeat of the season after winning four consecutive matches.


Jonah Dancer scored the game-winning goal for Iowa (8-2-2, 26 points), his second of the night, with 36 seconds remaining in the final period as the Raptors booked a spot in the playoffs as North Division champions.


Trailing 4-2 in the final period, the Lancers (7-5-0, 20) scored twice behind Joey Tavernese to knot things up at 4-4. Tavernese connected for the tying goal off a rebound with 1:08 left in regulation.


The teams will tussle in their regular season finale at the same venue on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.


Goalkeeper Daniel Maddock was outstanding for Rochester in defeat, making several vital saves early in the match to keep the hosts in the match.


The teams will tussle in their season finale at the same venue on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.


The opening half was end-to-end action for the opening seven minutes as both teams had their chances but could not find the net.


Alex Harling ended the scoring drought at 7:56 when he stole the ball from a Raptors player, raced toward the goal before drilling a hard shot to the left near post for a 1-0 Rochester advantage.


The Raptors, however, dominated the second quarter, striking three times to grab a 3-2 halftime lead.


Jacob Johnson equalized at 2:23 off an Ayo Adebayo feed before Taner Bay booted Rochester into the lead with a fine drive into the left corner. Hilton High School junior center back Luca Dodge recorded his first M2 assist on the play.


Iowa then took control of the rest of the quarter as Dancer knotted things up at 4:10 before Paco Gonzalez lifted the visitors into a 3-2 lead at 5:49.


Johnson tallied his second goal of the night, a long-range effort from the right side to boost the Raptors into a 4-2 lead at 10:21 of the third period.


Tavernese led the Lancers comeback, bringing the host side within one goal, scoring in a scramble at 8:15 of the fourth quarter before the veteran forward struck for a dramatic equalizer with 68 seconds left.


Join us again TOMORROW at our unique boutique arena on March 25 at 7:45PM for our LAST home game of the season as we rematch the Iowa Raptors. The Lancers 2023 Wall of Fame Ceremony will be held during tomorrow night's halftime.