Despite out shooting the Pioneers 40-3, the Rochester Raging Rhinos needed a late goal and extra time to defeat the Western Mass Pioneers, 2-1 at PAETEC Park in Rochester.
The Rhinos came out firing in the first half, taking 13 shots, only to come away with nothing. Their best shot at the lead was in the 16th minute, when Chris Aloisi made a run down the right side and crossed to Hamed Diallo, who was stopped by Pioneers ’keeper Kevin Trapp. The ball rebounded to the feet of Matthew Delicate, who was also stopped despite being inside the six-yard box. Despite all of the shots Rochester took, It was Western Mass who snatched the lead just before halftime. In the 43rd minute, Jeff Deren managed to sneak behind two Rhino defenders and a charging GK Chase Harrison, and managed to get a touch on the ball and send it trickling into the net.
In the second half, the Pioneers were all defense, intent on holding onto the 1-0 lead for the win. Rochester added another 18 shots, and finally broke through in the 83rd minute on a Matthew Delicate goal. Delicate received a pass from Aaran Lines, and promptly put the ball away to tie the game. Western Mass resorted to even more physical play in the final minutes of regular time, and could be considered lucky to finish with 11 men on the field.
The Rhinos got the game-winning goal at the end of the first period of extra time. This time is was Lines himself providing the tally, and Rey Angel Martinez nearly put the USL-1 side up 3-1 when his chip shot over GK Trapp struck the crossbar. The teams finished the physical affair with 52 fouls and nine yellow cards between them.
(WMP) Jeff Deren 43’
(ROC) Matthew Delicate (Aaran Lines) 83’
(ROC) Aaran Lines 105’