Rochester Rhinos News Release – www.rhinossoccer.com
Sunday, September 27, 2009
BAYAMON, PR — For the second year in a row the Rochester Rhinos entered the second leg of a playoff series carrying a lead into their two-game aggregate goals series against the Puerto Rico Islanders, but found themselves eliminated from the postseason in Bayamon as the hosts rallied to advance to the next round.
Rochester took the 2-1 series lead with a home win on Thursday night at Marina Auto Stadium. The Islanders began the second match short-handed after losing their best player, defender Cristian Arietta, for the game courtesy of a red card ejection on Thursday night.
The Rhinos, on their heels from the start, fell behind early as Fabrice Noel gave the Islanders an early one goal lead, tying the aggregate goals series at two goals each.
Rochester suffered a huge setback in the 29th minute when Brent Sancho was the recipient of his second yellow card, putting the Rhinos down a man for the remainder of the match.
The Islanders nearly made the score 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate) when Petter Villegas drilled the goalpost to the right of goalkeeper Scott Vallow.
Puerto Rico did add another goal just a short time later when Nicholas Adderly converted a cross from former Rhino Jonny Steele to give the Islanders a one goal lead on aggregate in the 40th minute.
With 10 minutes remaining in the match Noel tallied his second goal of the match, taking the ball past two defenders and punching it past Vallow to give the Islanders a 4-2 series lead.
The Rhinos fought back as defender Kenney Bertz registered his second playoff goal to bring Rochester back to within a goal in the closing minutes.
As time began to wind down and with the Rhinos pressing, Adderly converted a counter attack opportunity giving Puerto Rico an insurmountable 5-3 aggregate lead in the 90th minute.
For the second year in a row the Rhinos are eliminated from the postseason after taking a lead in aggregate play to Puerto Rico. Rochester finished the season 12-11-10. The club will return home on Monday night.