ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Rochester Lancers' challenge is pretty straight forward.

Not only do they must defeat United Elite Krajisnik FC in their final two matches of the Major Arena Soccer League 2 regular season this weekend, but the East Division champions also need to outscore their foes by 19 goals to secure the top seed in the playoffs.

The Lancers (10-0-0, 30 points) enter the weekend with a goal differential of plus 86, trailing the Iowa Demon Hawks (12-0-0, 36), who finished the regular season as North Division champs, at a plus 104.  Currently, Rochester is seeded third behind Iowa and the Wichita Wings (11-0-1, 34), the Midwest Division champions.

But that could change if the Lancers win both games, putting them in second place with 36 points. That's when goal differential comes into play. Their average victory is 8.6 goals per match, which just about puts them on the cusp of moving past the Demon Hawks, if they continue that trend.

Rochester hosts United Elite at TSE Experience in East Rochester, N.Y. on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. Both games start at 7:45 p.m.

"We want to be the two seed at the minimum," assistant coach Joey Tavernese said. "If we're the three seed, that first [playoff] game could be a little dicey. With what the guys have put in this year, we're trying to make our road as easy as possible."

The Lancers want to stay away from playing three matches in as many days when the M2 playoffs are held in Wichita, Kansas the first weekend of April.

"I imagine there's only a handful of guys in M2 that I've ever played three games in a row," Tavernese said. "Although there's no travel involved, I've done it many times and it it's extremely difficult. We're trying to give our path to the final an easy one, and that obviously starts this weekend."

Tavernese said that he and head coach Jake Schindler discussed the team's game plan this weekend "and make sure that we start on the right foot on Friday night."

"We're giving ourselves a chance going into Saturday to potentially get that one seed. Winning is obviously the first important matter of business but we've got to try and game plan a little differently as we're trying to limit conceding goals and enhance our opportunities to score goals. I know the Utica team and system very well. I've been around that organization for a while."

Tavernese has played five seasons with that organization, three when it was known as the Syracuse Silver Knights and two more recently, as Utica City FC.

"We're going to go out there and execute the game plan as best we can," Tavernese said. "If we're able to achieve it, that's great. If not, it's not all lost. We just saw a little bit more of a difficult road to the championship. The Demon Hawks definitely didn't do us any favors, winning that last game against the Raptors by 18. So that makes our task a bit of a tough one."

The Demon Hawks recorded a 20-2 home victory over the Iowa Raptors on Friday, March 15.

What has made Rochester's success so unique this season has been the team's depth - 19 players have scored goals - and a system that doesn't rely on any one player. That system was implemented by Schindler last season, when the team just missed out on the postseason.

Schindler and assistant coaches Rey "Boom Boom" Martinez and Tavernese have been essentially on the same page, although they had some ideas on how a successful indoor team should play.

"We knew we had a good system of coaches in there. Everyone had a little bit of a different idea, but all with the same concept of the game to implement into our style," Tavernese said. "We really tried to drill it in the heads of the guys last year. This is the system we're going to run. If you want to play and be a part of it, this is what you have to do. It's an organized structured system. We don't like people deviating from it.

"We have some pretty talented players. So, we're more than happy to let them do their thing and go 1 v 1 and showcase what they have when the time is right. But aside from that we're really building our offense from the back. It should look like a well-oiled machine to where everyone knows where they should be, everyone understands the system and everyone who's doing what is asked of them."

Tavernese has learned from the best, watching several success coaches have built their squads. That includes  former Baltimore Blast head coach Danny Kelly, who directed his team to three consecutive MASL crowns, M1 commissioner Keith Tozer (formerly the Milwaukee Wave coach), Utica City's Hewerton Moreira and Milwaukee's Giuliano Oliviero.

"The teams that are the most successful are the ones that build a system as well as building a culture," he said.

"Our goal is to win two games and win them by as large of margin as possible. But the real goal for me is to be the champion at the end of the weekend in Wichita. There's something we've been looking at and tweaking for. We're going to try and make sure that we're fully prepared for when we get down there."