ROCHESTER, N.Y. - After a three-week break, the Rochester Lancers return to action with hopes of extending their unbeaten Major Arena Soccer League 2 season with a pair of big home games this weekend.

The East Division leaders host Baltimore Arsenal at the Total Sports Experience in East Rochester, N.Y. on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24. Both games kick off at 7:45 p.m.

The Lancers are off to an outstanding start to their 12-game regular season.

They are 5-0-0 and are one of two squads in the 13-team league that are unbeaten and untied. The Iowa Demon Hawks (9-0-0), the North Division leaders, are the other team.

Team captain and defender Alex Harling, a graduate of Rush Henrietta High School and Roberts Wesleyan University, wasn’t surprised.

"I think it comes down to experience and leadership," he said. "I would say we have a good core of guys. Some of those guys are just so strong on the field and their IQ is so high. Mixed with the young talented guys that the sky's the limit. It's worked out well for us this year."

Indeed, it has.

Rochester's numbers are impressive. The team is 2-0-0 at home and 3-0-0 on the road. It's goal differential of plus 34, on the strength of 58 goals for, 24 against. It is third best in the league.

The Lancers have brought back many players from a team that finished 8-4 last year. The players' familiarity with each other has gone a long way in their success.

"Guys know where to be," Harling said on the Soccer is a Kick in the Grass radio show on Monday night. "They know what we're trying to accomplish as a team. I would say it's definitely been easier from a game-to-game standpoint. I'm honored and pleased to be the captain again. It's great."

The Lancers hold such a huge lead that even if second-place Baltimore (2-2-0, 6) wins both games, they still will remain atop the division.

Of course, Rochester will do everything in its power to make sure it doesn’t lose. The Lancers want to win both matches as they continue their quest to secure the division title and qualify for the playoffs.

Baltimore is coming off a 6-5 road win at United Elite Krajisnik FC in Utica, N.Y. on Sunday, Feb. 18. Jordan Travers paced with visitors with a hat-trick as Cameron Dawson, Michael Bernstein and Erik Lorent added single tallies.

Because Baltimore is the M2 affiliate of the Baltimore Blast, it wouldn't be surprising if the visitors use players from their Major Arena Soccer League team plays here this weekend.

"I would expect them to maybe make some changes," Harling said. "Whatever they tried the first couple of games didn't work. … Like all the teams that are affiliated with [M1] teams, game to game, you never know who to expect. We just do our best to prepare the best we can and make them adjust to what we're doing."

In their season opener in Baltimore on Jan. 13, the Lancers recorded a 14-6 triumph in Towson, Md., their highest goal total of the season. In fact, the team has scored 10 or more goals in each of its five games.

Translated: The Lancers bring much firepower to the field.

Rookie midfielder-defender Ali Alomari leads the way with 12 goals and five assists. Forward Taner Bay (9 goals, 3 assists) is next, followed by midfielder Ryan Curtis (7 goals, 3 assists) and forward Joey Tavernese (7 goals, 1 assist).

Harling has been impressed with Alomari and Curtis.

"They've stepped in and done a good job," he said. "I think Ryan has trained with us in the past. He's also played on a couple other teams, so he wasn't able to play with us last year. But no doubt having him Ali, Davinson Diaz, there's a few new guys who have taken our team to the next level."

On the other side of the ball, the Lancers also have been impressive. They have conceded only 24 goals in their five games, for a league-best 4.80 goals-against average.

That did not go unnoticed by the league, as veteran defender Darren Toby was named M2 defensive player of the month for January.

Toby, 42, an MASL veteran, will lead a tough Rochester backline this weekend.

Harling said that he expected a big crowd this weekend.

"The first weekend, I thought we had a good crowd, a good turnout." he said. "We ended up going next door and celebrating as a team and with some fans. I'm hoping to have the same environment this coming weekend."

After this weekend, Rochester will take a two-week break before the team rounds out the campaign with three consecutive weekends in March.

The Lancers will welcome Atletico Orlando to the TSE a second time on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. They will visit Baltimore Arsenal for their final road contest on Saturday, March 16. The team comes back home to close out the regular season against United Elite on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23.

For more information on the team, visit