Goals by Banks, Hoxie earn 2-0 win vs. Riverhounds
Saturday, July 21, 2012
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester Rhinos moved back into second place in the USL PRO standings after a 2-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night. JC Banks scored the Rhinos’ opener in the first half, his fifth goal of the season, and substitute Andrew Hoxie secured the three points for the home side late in the match as the Rhinos remained undefeated all-time against the Riverhounds at Sahlen’s Stadium.
After taking the first few minutes of the match to settle in, Rochester opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Right back Lucas Fernandez got loose down the right flank and whipped in a cross from the goal line. Kissi flicked on the ball at the near post, and Banks touched the bouncing ball home at the far post to give the Rhinos a 1-0 lead. It was Banks’ 18th point of the season, moving him into second place in USL PRO as he trails Charleston’s Nicki Patterson by two points for the league-lead.
The Rhinos had a carbon copy opportunity in the 14th minute as Fernandez ran down the right touchline and served in a ball from the goal line. Kissi made another near post run, but could not get his head on the cross. The ball landed at the feet of left winger Chris Estridge at the far post, but he could not get a shot on target.
In the 20th minute Kissi was fouled by Pittsburgh Riverhounds center back Louie Rolko 35 yards out from goal. Center midfielder Danny Earls served the free kick into the penalty area and found Kyriazis at the top of the six yard box, but he flicked his header over the goal.
Pittsburgh responded with their best chance of the first half in the 21st minute. Pittsburgh’s star midfielder Matt Kassel was able to get on the end of a cross from the right flank at the far post. Kassel controlled the ball, but hit his shot right at Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht.
The Rhinos had the last chance of the first half in the 40th minute. The Rhinos quickly took a free kick on the left flank, and played the ball down the touchline to Estridge, who found time and space that allowed him to square the ball to Kissi 15 yards out from goal. Kissi was able to put a shot on target but he hit it right at Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap.
Pittsburgh had a livelier start to the second half, and the Riverhounds had a great chance to find an equalizer in the 59th minute. Tino Nunez received the ball at the top of the penalty area with his back to the Rhinos’ goal after an extended spell of possession. Nunez flicked the ball on with the outside of his foot into the space behind the Rhinos back four. Nicht and Riverhounds forward Mike Seth raced for the ball, but Nicht was able to slide in and save the ball at Seth’s feet to end the Riverhounds’ threat.
In the 76th minute Pittsburgh threatened the Rhinos’ goal once again. Kassel received the ball out on the right flank and attacked some space in the Rhinos midfield. He took a shot from about 30 yards out that whistled by a diving Nicht’s far post.
One minute later, Rochester doubled its lead. Fernandez served an early ball into the Riverhounds penalty area, and Hoxie was first to the cross, heading an effort that Gilstrap could not handle cleanly as the Rhinos scored their second goal of the evening.
In the 89th minute Gilstrap redeemed himself by keeping Rhinos substitute Quavas Kirk out with a diving save at the near post. Pittsburgh’s Seth C’deBaca threatened Nicht’s goal one more time from distance in stoppage time, but he was up to the task and kept his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.
The victory puts Rochester in second place in USL PRO, two points in front of Charleston, although the Battery have two games in hand. The second-placed finisher in the USL PRO regular season receives a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The next Rhinos home game is on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Los Angeles Blues at Sahlen’s Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by calling 585-454-KICK, by visiting rhinossoccer.com, or by visiting any Ticketmaster retail location.