The Rochester Rhinos had not allowed a goal in over a month coming into Tuesday’s friendly versus FC Buffalo in front of 9,000 kids for School Day at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
Undefeated in USL Pro play (4-0), the Rhinos found a tough test in FC Buffalo. The Blitzers fielded a deep squad of many rostered players and a few trialists, and FCB held their own for the majority of the match before Rochester’s in-season fitness and professional depth became the dominant factor in the match.
After a lengthy feeling-out period, the Rhinos continually attempted to use their left-side strength to get the best of FCB right back Josh Hall. Fortunately for Buffalo, Hall played incredibly well (deserving Buffalo man of the match honors with goalkeeper Eric DeHond).
Hall turned attacked in the 23rd minute when backfield mate Josiah Snelgrove launched a beautiful ball into the Rochester corner. Hall latched onto it and sent a ball across the 18 to new signing Alexander Rouse, whose attempt was parried wide by Rhinos keeper Brandon Miller. Rouse and forward Andy Tiedt each earned brilliant chances before the end of the half, but the teams ran off for the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Rochester got the better of otherwise-stellar keeper DeHond in the 51st minute for the match’s only marker. After a free kick attempt was stopped by DeHond, Rhinos midfielder Masaki “Mac” Hemmi snapped up the loose rebound and slotted it home. A few moments later, the Rhinos attacked again and FCB center back Kendell McFayden was shown a red card for a tackle.
FC Buffalo opens its NPSL campaign at 7 p.m. Sunday May 13 at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium when they’ll face Detroit City FC. Admission is just $5.
Here’s the box score, courtesy of rhinossoccer.com:
Rochester – 1
FC Buffalo – 0
Rochester Rhinos: Brandon Miller; 6 – Michael Zaher, 21 – Kyle Manscuk, 18 – William Sedgewick, 25 – Jimmy Lannon; 24 – Pedro Rivas, 17 – Masaki Hemmi, 27 – Michael Tanke, 11 – Conor Chinn; 7 – Gustavo Zamudio, 22 – Andrew Hoxie
Reserves: 5 – Jack Traynor, 8 – Tyler Rosenlund, 9 – Thomas Kelly McManus, 12 – Troy Roberts, 13 – Drew Cost, 14 – Danny Earls, 15 – Graciano Brito, 20 – Lucas Fernandez, 29 – JC Banks, 31 – Joe Marino
FC Buffalo: Eric DeHond; 27 – Mbwana Johnson, 23 – Kendall McFayden, 4 – Josiah Snelgrove, 2 – Josh Hall; 22 – Patrick Zelko, 10 – Gary Boughton, 6 – Mike Angworth, 8 – Matt Stedman; 9 – Andy Tiedt, 5 – Alexander Rouse
Reserves: 11 – JJ Hughes, 12 – Nolan Hartzell, 16 – Matt Brehm, 21 – Nekabari Tor, 29 – Matt Goldwater, 38 – CJ Scirto
Scoring: ROC Hemmi (51st minute)
Substitutions: Cost for Tanke (63rd minute)
Fernandez for Lannon (63rd minute)
Brito for Hoxie (58th minute)
Traynor for Sedgewick (65th minute)
Marino for Miller (65th minute)
Banks for Rivas (68th minute)
Earls for Hemmi (71st minute)
McManus for Zamudio (74th minute)