July 10, 2022
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Rochester Lady Lancers set a team record by scoring seven goals on Sunday, but just fell short of reaching the United Women's Soccer playoffs by one goal.
They registered a 7-0 victory over the Erie Commodores on Charles A. Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute.
The Lady Lancers (7-1-2, 23 points), who finished the season on a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2), were tied on point with FC Buffalo for the Penn-NY Division lead. Buffalo, however, was awarded the division title because it had outscored Rochester during its three games, 4-2. The two teams recorded a 1-1-1 mark in the series.
After finishing the 2021 with a 0-10-0 record, the Lady Lancers had a tremendous turnaround this season, the women's team's best campaign in its five-year history.
"Just give the credit to the players, and the coaches," head coach Adam Schwartz said. "We did our part, but they come out every week and gave it everything they have. To have to win eight-nil today in order to stay in contention, and you just see the heart that they've played with. It's just humbling. It's moving. I'm very proud of them.
“To score seven goals in a match is remarkable.
"To lose our first game and then go on a nine-game unbeaten streak is pretty remarkable."
Goalkeeper Kate Cappelletti recorded her seventh shutout and sixth consecutive clean sheet as Caroline Kopp, center back turned attacker, paced the offense with two goals and two assists.
"When you have a premier keeper like that that can hold down the fort and then strong backline players it makes us a difficult team to score on," Schwartz said.
"We moved Caroline and she's just deadly up top because of her speed. She's just a tremendous player, a fierce competitor as well. That's what I love about her. You don't come across too many players that have that just fierce competitiveness about them. Brooke [Barbuto, team captain] is the same way so the two go hand in hand."
This year's team was bolstered by five players from Syracuse. They meshed so well with the Rochester-based players.
"Some of them played together for quite a long time and you can see that they know what each other is doing before a play takes place," Schwartz said. "So, it's fun to watch top-end players."
Rochester dominated the match from start to finish in possession and chances. Erie, which, for the most part was content on defending for most of the match, blocked numerous shots.
After possessing the ball for huge stretches of time, the Lady Lancers finally found in the net in the 17th minute.
Kopp was taken down in the box by a defender. Kelsey Delola took the penalty kick, which goalkeeper Nicole Litchinger saved and knocked away. Delola swooped in for the rebound and tucked it away for her fifth goal of the season.
There was a discussion among game officials about the play and after a minute the goal stood.
Rochester was far from finished as Kopp grabbed a rebound of a ball that went off an Erie player and beat Litchinger for her third goal of the season in the 25th minute.
Six minutes later, the Lady Lancers were celebrating goal No. 3 after Meg Root was fouled on the left flank near the penalty area. Barbuto took the ensuing free kick and floated a ball that Litchinger got a hand on but could not stop from entering the net.
After Root was fouled yet again on the left side, Barbuto took another free kick, This time Root backheeled the back into the net at the near left post for a four-goal advantage in the 44th minute.
Deep in first-half stoppage time, the Lancers added to their spoils as Kopp latched onto a long ball and passed to Barbuto, who slipped the ball into the net off Litchinger's hand for a commanding 5-0 halftime lead.
Erie had a great opportunity to cut into the lead and goal differential when Lancers defender Taylor Ashe was called for a penalty kick for taking down a player in the box. Cappelletti, however, made a two-handed save on Kylee Cross to keep the visitors off the scoreboard in the 49th minute.
Two minutes later, the Lady Lancers solved goalkeeper Kaitlyn Low, who came in at halftime, as Kopp headed in Barbuto's corner kick at the left far post for a 6-0 margin in the 51st minute.
The hosts had to wait 24 minutes for their next goal as Hannah Knych struck for her sixth goal from 10 yards for a seven-goal margin in the 75th minute.
The Commodores, however, managed to hold off Rochester the rest of the way, denying the hosts their precious eighth goal.