The Harrisburg City Islanders fell in a tough 1-0 loss to the Rochester Rhinos, who raised the inaugural Capelli Sport Hero Cup on Tuesday night at FNB Field.
Harrisburg couldn’t find their footing in the match, while the Rochester defense shined in the second meeting between the two Eastern Conference rivals this season. Rochester took a first-half lead off of a well-struck free kick by Wal Fall that was directed into the goal by Darius Madison.
“I don’t think that we were good enough,” said head coach Bill Becher. “Coming back home, this was a big game for us and we gave away a bad goal. We definitely had some chances but we didn’t play as well as we needed to play.”
Rochester takes the season series with two wins on the year both coming at a 1-0 scoreline. Harrisburg currently sits in 11th place but is just a few points out of a playoff spot. Rochester, on the other hand, keeps climbing the tables and is currently in fifth in the league.
Harrisburg returns to action at FNB Field on Saturday, August 12 at 7 p.m. when they take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the final leg of the K&L Gates and Pennsylvania Lottery Keystone Derby Cup.
Rochester struck first off of a free kick from just outside the box. Wall sent a perfect pass that bypassed the entire Islanders defense and found the head of Madison to break the ice. A break down in defense let Madison break free behind the usually sound defensive line for his third goal of the year.
Harrisburg almost found the equalizer when Ropapa Mensah broke through the back line of the Rochester defense but was suspiciously impeded before being able to take the shot. He got his shot off but it was slow and Rochester goalie, Dan Lynd, was there to make the save.
The Islanders had a few more chances to grab an equalizer before the first-half whistle, but the Rhinos took the 1-0 lead into the locker room.
Both teams came out in the second half and picked up where they left off. Harrisburg was trying to crack the code of the staunch Rochester defense who have only give up 18 goals on the season but to no avail.
Wilson had a few more chances to pull the Islanders level but Lynd, the Rhinos’ goalie was there to stop all the shots he faced. Rochester played it close to the chest and didn’t allow the Islanders any room in the attacking third and when an Islander found open space, he was quickly stifled.
The best chance for the Islanders came off a Wilson shot that sailed just above the crossbar and into the stands with just minutes left in the match.
Rochester posted their third win in four games, while the Islanders fell in their second straight match. Harrisburg still sits just three points out of a playoff spot and could find themselves right back in it with a win against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, August 12.
Come out to see your City Islanders take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the final leg of the K&L Gates and The Pennsylvania Lottery Keystone Derby Cup.
The Pregame party starts at 4:30 at Skyline Sports Complex with beer, food and MORE! Come out and support your Islanders along with Feel Your Boobies in their “Bras Across the Bridge” event. The first 1,000 fans through the gate get a City Islanders drawstring bag presented by Highmark! Stick around after the game for post-match fireworks presented by Highmark!