By Michael Lewis/FrontRow Soccer
Despite playing with only 10 men, the Rochester Lancers pulled out a 1-0 victory over Syracuse FC in a National Premier Soccer League game at Charles A. Schiano Field at Aquinas Institute on Sunday evening.
Only five minutes after coming on, Isaac Kissi scored in the 77th minute to boost the Lancers to the win.
The result kept Rochester (5-1-0, 15 points) atop the East Conference while winless Syracuse FC fell to 0-5-1.
“We kept going after it because we didn’t want to leave any points on the table,” Lancers head coach Doug Miller said. “We just found out that Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 4-1, which is a huge result for us. So, I told the boys in the locker room the first team to 21 points is going to win the division. We’re at 15. We’ve got our next home game against Erie, who’s struggling a bit. That gets us to 18 and we have three more games to go.”
Rochester, which dominated possession, was forced to play the final 21 minutes at a man disadvantage after Wyatt Scott was red carded for a hard foul on a Syracuse player.
“I knew they were going to bunker in,” Miller said. “I told these guys, ‘Right from the get-go we needed to jump on them and dictate the flow of the game.’ When it comes to the 70th or 80th minute, it becomes more difficult. We put more pressure on ourselves to score a goal. And that’s exactly what happened. We were trying to through the center of their defense, which is the best part of their team. We finally figured it out when we made the change.”
Kissi, who came on in the 71st minute, put in a left-wing cross by Lukas Fernandes at the far post for his first goal of the season.
Goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin recorded the shutout.
“We created a ton of chances,” Miller said. “I don’t even know if they had a shot on goal. Defensively, we were solid. We’ve just got to create more chances and solidify scoring goals a little bit more.”
The Lancers’ final home game of the NPSL regular season will be against the Erie Commodores at Aquinas Institute on next Sunday at 5:00 pm. These teams will meet again at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY on July 5 at 7:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Rob Daniels Photography