USL Game Report
Saturday, June 13, 2015
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Rochester Rhinos defeated Louisville City FC 2-0 on Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium as the side extended its undefeated streak to 12 games to start the season. Goals from Kenardo Forbes in the 43rd minute and Steevan dos Santos in the 68th were all the Rhinos needed to post their league leading eighth win of the season, as fourth year Rhinos’ goalkeeper Brandon Miller recorded his league leading fifth shutout and lowered his USL best goal against average to 0.35.
The Rhinos controlled first 15 minutes and had two great chances to get on the board. In the 10th minute, Christian Volesky beat the offside trap, dribbled in on a charging keeper Scott Goodwin and chipped high. Three minutes later, dos Santos had an open look from 20 yards that flashed just wide of the near post.
Louisville began to see more of the play as the half moved on and also had two good opportunities to score, which would have been the first goal against the Rhinos at home in 2015. In the 24th minute, Rhinos captain Tony Walls received a yellow card and, on the ensuing free kick, Juan Guzman’s curling ball was headed from 15 yards by Orlando City SC loanee Sidney Rivera towards the far upper corner, but Miller made the diving save.
Then in 42nd minute, Louisville's leading scorer Matt Fondy stole the ball from Marcos Ugarte on the end line and fed Collin Fernandez for a quick shot from 15 yards that Miller parried away.
Just a minute later, the Rhinos opened the scoring with a highlight reel goal. Forbes fed an overlapping Onua Obasi on the left and dashed towards the box. Obasi’s cross was only partially cleared by Austen King and Forbes was there to volley past Louisville goalkeeper Scott Goodwin into the far corner from 15 yards for his first USL goal of the season to give the Rhinos a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Rhinos started off the second half where they left off, with Forbes making his way down the right and sending a perfect through ball to Volesky, but Goodwin again made himself big, causing the shot to hit the side netting. Four minutes later, Louisville’s Aodhan Quinn gave the ball right to dos Santos 25 yards out from goal, but the big striker’s quick shot was right at Goodwin.
Dos Santos would not be denied in the 68th minute, however, as the Cabo Verde native scored his fourth goal in the last five league matches to seal the three points for the Rhinos. Substitute Mike Garzi started the play with some fancy footwork 20 yards out before feeding Walls, who passed into the penalty area to Volesky for a volley that Goodwin saved well out in front of goal, but dos Santos was there to calmly slot the ball into the open net for a 2-0 lead.
Louisville pressed the Rhinos all over the field for the rest of the match, but could not find a way past Miller, who earned Man of the Match honors with the win and the shutout for the USL-leading Rhinos, who improved to 8-0-4, the second best start in franchise history after the ’98 A-League championship side who won their first 14 matches that season.
“Brandon has his best match of the season," said Rhinos Coach Bob Lilley. "His starting points were good; he was coming out for balls on the edge of the box and he was strong when he needed to be. It was a big time match for him today.”
The Rochester Rhinos go on the road for their next two matches in Pennsylvania next week. On Tuesday, the Rhinos face Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) on Tuesday, June 16 at PPL Park starting at 7:30 pm in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Then on Friday June 19, the Rhinos return to USL play facing the Harrisburg City Islanders at 7:30 pm at the Skyline Sports Complex.
The next Rhinos home match is Saturday, June 27 against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Hall of Fame Night at Sahlen’s Stadium starting at 7:05 pm.