Rhinos season ends with 1-0 loss in Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY - The #4 seeded Rochester Rhinos’ season came to a close, falling 1-0 to #1 seeded Louisville City FC at Slugger Field on Saturday night in the USL Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Louisville City FC will host the #7 seed and defending USL Cup Champions New York Red Bulls II in the Eastern Conference Finals. Rochester finishes their season 15-8-11.
Second-half substitute Brian Ownby put home the game-winning goal in the 77th-minute, beating a streaking Tomas Gomez for his 6th goal of the season and 2nd of the playoffs.
Despite giving up the lion’s share of possession, Rochester was by far the better side in the first half outshooting Louisville City FC 9-2 and controlling the pace of play. Ray Lee put in several great crosses and was unfortunate not to pick up an assist.
The best chance the Rhinos had all night came from Jordan Dover in the 23rd minute. The rookie defender won the ball at midfield and streaked down the middle through the entire defense. His 60-yard run eventually put him in alone in front of goal with Louisville goalkeeper Gregory Ranjitsingh, but his solo effort was put wide of the target.
Louisville Head Coach James O’Connor was very unhappy and made an unusual move at halftime, making two substitutions including the aforementioned Ownby. Their strategy paid dividends immediately as LCFC came out strong with 4 shots within the first ten minutes.
Tomas Gomez played very well, making 5 saves on the night, including a spectacular save on LCFC’s leading scorer Luke Spencer at the near-post in the 71st minute to keep the match scoreless.
In the 78th minute, some strong passing caught Gomez out of his net, and Ownby would capitalize by beating the Rhinos goalkeeper to the ball and chipping it over his body and into the net to win the match.
Gomez would bounce back and make another ridiculous save as Ownby went for goal number two. The Louisville hit a half-volley from 25 yards that forced Gomez to dive to his left and come up with something special.
The Rhinos had the chance they wanted on the last kick of the night. Rochester won a free kick just under 30 yards out. With usual set-piece specialist Wal Fall on the bench, it was Julian Buscher; acquired on loan from D.C. United, who stepped up. His curling effort forced Ranjitsingh to make a save to his left, and covered up his spilled rebound to seal the match for Louisville.
Louisville City FC moves on to their 3rd Eastern Conference Final in their 3rd season of play.
Join the Rhinos as they celebrate the 2017 season at The Exchange on Monday, October 30th from 7:00PM to 8:30PM.
The Rhinos will be presenting 5 Awards, which include Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best in the Community, Rookie of the Year & MVP of the Year. Door PRIZES will be given out & DRINK Specials will be available.
Space is LIMITED, so to request tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is your last chance to get autographs, pictures and mingle with the Players and Coaching Staff in 2017.
The Exchange - 251 Exchange Blvd, Rochester, NY 14608