Jeff DiVeronica • Democrat and Chronicle
June 27, 2010
If the Rhinos wanted to use Saturday’s league match with Puerto Rico as a tune-up for Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup showdown with the Columbus Crew, then mission accomplished.
But they got more than the once-over. They got the works.
In maybe their most complete match of the season, Rochester dominated the Islanders in a 3-0 victory in front of 7,012 fans at Marina Auto Stadium who saw the Rhinos move to 6-3-4 in USSF D2 Pro League play.
«It’s what, seven-game unbeaten streak and two wins in a row?» asked midfielder Ryan Heins, who scored in the seventh minute and set up forward Anthony Hamilton in the 59th before rookie Max Ferdinand slammed in an exclamation-point goal in the 90th.
«Everyone’s feeling good right now, it’s a good vibe after 3-0 for us.»
Rochester, 3-0-2 in league play and 2-0 in Cup action over the past month, plays its third-round Cup match in Columbus, Ohio, against Major League Soccer’s Crew. They are 7-3-2 after Saturday night’s 2-0 win over D.C. United.
«I think how we defended helped trigger some of the opportunities and the confidence in the team,» said coach Bob Lilley, whose club has gone ahead inside the first seven minutes in each of its past three matches. «That’s what we’re trying to do is get it right on both ends and there’s no doubt we did that tonight.»
Puerto Rico (4-6-1) bounced the Rhinos from the playoffs each of the past two years, but Rochester pounced early.
Heins slotted a 15-yard shot inside the left post for a 1-0 lead. Hamilton’s breakaway started the chance, but goalie Bill Gaudette made a good kick save. Midfielder Jamie Franks quickly passed the loose ball back into the box and Tyler Rosenlund dummied it, faking like he’d play it.
«Jamie’s pass was right on the money and Tyler’s dummy was key because the defender either had to bite on him or come to me,» said Heins, whose three goals are tied with Tino Nunez for second on the Rhinos.
«I felt like I had all day to pick out a spot and put it away.»
Puerto Rico started the second half well, but Lilley liked the way his club stiffened, «managing the game,» he said, before getting Hamilton’s insurance goal. Heins sent a long pass ahead to Hamilton, who stayed onside and was already behind a defender near midfield.
Gaudette sprinted out 30 yards, but Hamilton dribbled past him to the left and showed good composure knocking in a 20-yard shot from an angle. He had to hit it hard enough so defender Scott Jones couldn’t clear it off the line.
«(Gaudette) hesitated and then he had to keep coming. He put himself in a bad position,» Hamilton said of the 2008 USL Goalie of the Year.

Attack-minded Puerto Rico kept coming, but the Rhinos never gave in. Veteran goalie Scott Vallow made two saves for his second league shutout.

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Edwin Jusino
Director Ejecutivo de FutbolBoricua.net. Actualmente estudiante de Historia de las Américas en programa combinado Maestría/PhD de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metropolitano. Lleva más de una década cubriendo el fútbol de Puerto Rico. Actualmente está trabajando su disertación doctoral sobre el pasado presidente de la FPF, el Dr. Roberto Monroig. Hincha del Club Atlético de Madrid y de la Selección Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. Puede contactarle via twitter o Instagram en @erjusinoa