WILMINGTON, N.C. – Wilmington Hammerheads FC was searching for its first win in nearly two months, but the host side could not hold onto two late leads. Wal Fall’s stoppage-time header off of a corner kick sequence helped the Rochester Rhinos earn a 2-2 draw against Wilmington on Saturday at Legion Stadium. Christian Volesky’s 77th-minute equalizer staved off a separate Wilmington lead earlier in the match. It was heartbreak for the Hammerheads who enjoyed a 1-0 lead off of a Justin Moose goal in the 36th minute and then thought they had the winner when Bruno Perone’s right-footed volley found the back of the net early in second-half stoppage time. The Rhinos drew for the seventh consecutive time on the road. Rochester moves to 10-5-11 (41 points) overall and 2-3-8 on the road. Wilmington is now 6-11-8 (26 points) overall and 3-4-5 at home as the Hammerheads’ winless streak is now nine games (0-6-3). This was the second and final regular-season meeting between the two teams. Rochester earned a 2-0 win on Aug. 6 at Rhinos Stadium.
36’ – WIL – Justin Moose (Kyle Parker)
77’ – ROC – Christian Volesky (Kenardo Forbes)
90’+ – WIL – Bruno Perone (Casey Townsend)
90’+ – ROC – Wal Fall (Kenardo Forbes)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Wilmington and Rochester produced very little in the way of potential scoring for the opening 30 minutes or so. In the 36th minute, the Hammerheads finally found a moment against Rochester’s defense, playing the ball up the right side and working in to Kyle Parker, who laid the ball off for Justin Moose just outside the box. Moose fired his shot just inside the left post as the host side took the 1-0 lead. It was Moose’s first goal of the season and Parker’s second assist of the campaign.
2. The second half was far different, as three goals were produced during the final 15 minutes of regulation and then stoppage time. Christian Volesky scored off of a Kenardo Forbes in the 77th minute for his team-leading ninth goal. Forbes came off the bench as Head Coach Bob Lilley jiggered his lineup quite a bit for this weekend’s match. In stoppage time, Wilmington appeared to have found the winner when Casey Townsend dropped the ball back to Bruno Perone who had a highlight reel volley into the upper right corner. But in a last-gasp effort, the Rhinos grabbed a corner kick in the waning moments as Forbes produced his second assist, whipping the ball in to Wal Fall headed it into the net for the draw.
3. Former Pitt goalkeeper Dan Lynd made his professional debut for the Rhinos. A native of nearby Penfield, N.Y., Lynd signed with Rochester in late April. He was eased into his first pro start Saturday, batting away an easy-to-read shot from Wilmington’s Tom Parratt in the seventh minute at the near right post. Lynd didn’t face too many chances, but the clean sheet eluded him and the defense late in the opening half. Lynd is the third goalkeeper to man the net for Rochester this year as Adam Grinwis (13 games) and Tomas Gomez (12) have split the duties all season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Kenardo Forbes, Rochester Rhinos – In just one half of soccer, Forbes had a productive match, setting up both Rochester goals to help his side rally on two separate occasions.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC at FC Montreal – Aug. 31, 7 p.m. ET, Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard
Rochester Rhinos at Charleston Battery – Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium