January 21, 2024
UTICA, N.Y. - Only two weeks into their season, the Rochester Lancers already have made a statement that they are a team to be reckoned with in Major Arena Soccer League 2.
For the second consecutive week, the Lancers secured a decisive road win, defeating United Elite Krajisnik FC, 11-4, at the Adirondack Bank Center on Sunday night.
On Jan. 13, Rochester (2-0) rolled to a 14-6 victory at Baltimore Arsenal in their season opener. Krajisnik FC fell to 2-3.
Many things when right for the Lancers. They combined their speed, excellent use of the boards, an opportunistic counterattack that took advantage of Krajisnik FC mistakes, a hard-nosed defense that rarely lost shape and some timely saves by starting goalkeeper Jakeb Mitchell.
Ali Alomari led the way, scoring in every quarter, en route to a four-goal performance and his first Lancers' hat-trick. Joey Tavernese, who tallied for four goals last week, had a hat-trick of his own. Defender Alex Harling added a brace.
The hosts scored in the opening and closing minutes, but the Lancers won the first quarter, grabbing a 3-2 advantage. Only 36 seconds after the opening kickoff, Krajisnik FC scored off a counterattack.
It might have been a wake-up call for the visitors as Rochester quickly equalized on Harling's goal from the left side past goalkeeper Robert Sams at 2:27. Alomari rounded the goalie on a Lancers counter, rolling the ball home on the right side for a 2-1 edge. Frank Ciliberto connected for his first goal of the season, slipping in a rebound from close range at 9:04.
With just 13 seconds remaining in the period, Leonardo Gualberto cut the deficit to 3-2.
The second quarter was all Lancers as they struck for four successive scores to grab a 7-2 halftime lead.
Harling scored his second goal of the match, off a counterattack at the left near post at 3:56. Tavernese tallied his first of the contest only 20 seconds later when he caught Sams out of the net, for a 5-2 margin.
Alomari used the boards to strike for his second goal, passing to himself in the left corner before depositing the ball in the net at 7:59 before Tavernese collected his second of the period, redirecting a pass from player-head coach Jake Schindler from the right point with 62 seconds remaining in the half.
Krajisnik FC pulled Sams at the start of the third period, replacing him with Davion Bailey. It didn't matter, Rochester raised its lead to 8-2 as Tavernese got his hat-trick, converting a Joe Balls pass from the left side at 7:55.
The Lancers managed to keep the hosts off the score for 25 minutes and 52 seconds, until Jayce Berger buried a David Wright free kick after a Rochester handball at 10:39 of the quarter. A little more than a minute later, Alomari registered his first M2 hat-trick, putting home an Eduardo Figueroa feed at 11:43 for a 9-3 bulge.
Five minutes into the fourth period, the visitors hit double figures as Taner Bay converted a Ryan Curtis feed for a 10-3 lead. Seconds later, Krajisnik FC replied with a tally by Damon Almazon at 4:35.
Alomari scored his fourth goal from the left side at 7:14. After an official timeout, Rochester replaced Mitchell with Alastair Farmer in goal.
The Lancers will return here on consecutive Sunday, Jan. 28 at 6:45 p.m.
Rochester will make its season home debut against Atletico Orlando at the Total Sports Experience in East Rochester, N.Y. on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3. Both matches kick off at 7:45 p.m. That will start a slate of six consecutive home matches.
For more information about the team, visitwww.RochesterLancers.com.