Note: In these Rochester Roundup pieces, “Loons” refers to Rochester FC, not Minnesota United
Rochester Men Down Bavarians in Home Opener
The Rochester FC Men took on the Milwaukee Bavarian United Men on Friday, May 19 in their USL League 2 home opener, at the Rochester Regional Sports Center. It was a chilly, blustery evening, but the fans brought energy to the park. RFC youth players were an especially raucous presence, tooting small horns, blasting duck calls, and shouting chants for the full 90 minutes.
Play started off fairly even, and back-and-forth, with both Rochester and Milwaukee getting some good chances. Particularly dangerous was a series of three corner kicks that Bavarians won in the 19th and 20th minutes, but they failed to capitalize on the opportunities
Rochester broke the stalemate in the 29th minute with a goal by Aussie midfielder Jake Parish, off a pass by fellow midfielder Reilly Moore. Parish notched another for RFC in the 35th minute with an assist by wing back Alan Imamovic. Imamovic also put a good header on goal in the 42nd minute, but it was saved by the Milwaukee keep
Things were getting progressively more physical as Bavarians were frustrated, going into the second half two goals down. Ashton Billow clawed back a goal for Milwaukee in the 65th minute, and the Bavarians continued to keep up the pressure for most of the rest of the second half. Rochester goalkeeper Kiernan Brown and the Loons defense kept the ball out of the net, and were able to hang on to their 2-1 lead for a home opener win. Players from both sides collapsed on the field before dragging themselves up for post-match handshakes, making their exhaustion abundantly clear. Both teams had left it all on the field.
The Loons will face Minneapolis City SC next, on Saturday, May 27. The Crows have looked a little shaky in at the start of their season, and are still looking for their first win. Minneapolis fell 1-2 vs St. Croix in their USL League 2 season opener, and 3-5 to RKC Third Coast in their second match.
Loons Women Fight Hard at Home, But Fall 1-0 to Bavarians
Rochester FC Women opened their USL W season on Sunday, May 21, also against Milwaukee Bavarian United. Bavarians came out strong early in the game, piling the pressure on and attacking the Rochester final third. Haley Johnson scored for Milwaukee in the 11th minute, in what would be the only goal of the match.
While RFC had difficulty breaking down the Bavarians defense, they were able to hold the line and keep their goal deficit from growing. Rochester goalkeeper Carlota Alcalde could be heard throughout the match directing the defense, and made a number of key saves. Loons wing back Kritsen LaDue was also a significant presence, making her presence felt clearing the ball and advancing it up the flank for many of Rochester’s attacks.
The Loons’ Women go on the road for their next match, taking on Minnesota Aurora FC on Wednesday, May 24 at TCO Stadium. Aurora have yet to play any games yet this season, but were national runners-up in USL W last season. Rochester Women’s next home game will be on Wednesday, May 31 versus the Green Bay Glory. The Glory have yet to play any games yet this season, but will kick their campaign off at Milwaukee four days before coming to Rochester.