Risers can't sustain a first-half lead, fall to first place Rochester in indoor soccer

By Dave Tomczak
LocalSportsJournal.com
MUSKEGON – With an opportunity to prove themselves against the top team in their division, the Muskegon Risers produced a solid first half of play on Friday.

Muskegon Risers’ Joe Broekhuizen gets the ball punched away by Rochester goalie Marc Sotile. Photo/Jason Goorman


The Risers outshot the Rochester Lancers 12-5, and led 3-2 at halftime.
But the Eastern Division-leading Lancers responded with 10 second-half goals and earned a 12-6 Major League Soccer Arena 2 victory over the Risers at L.C. Walker Arena.
Muskegon falls to 1-4 on the season, while Rochester remains undefeated at 3-0.
The Lacers struck first after a turnover created a two-on-none breakaway that resulted in a Luiz Enrique Hidalgo goal 2:39 into the game.
Muskegon pulled even, 1-1, when TJ Ifaturoti, who was stopped on a breakaway just a minute into the game, got another chance and broke in alone for a goal with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
Rochester took a 2-1 lead 2:40 into the second quarter on Michael Cunningham’s goal, but Muskegon responded.
On a power play, the Risers’ Joe Broekhuizen netted his sixth goal of the year with a blast into the upper left corner to tie the game at 2-2 with four minutes left in the half.
A minute later, Cameron Cavanagh knocked in a pass from Franco Calabrese and the Risers had a 3-2 halftime lead.
“We played well, but I wish we had a couple more goals because I knew Rochester was going to make a push,” said Muskegon coach Ben Ritsema. “I was concerned at the half that they would really come after us in the third quarter, and they did.”
After managing only one shot on goal in the second quarter, the Lancers scored three times on five shots to start the third. Jake Schindler, Austin Gerber and Boomer Steigleman’s goals put Rochester up 5-3 after three quarters.
It didn’t get much better at the start of the fourth, when Hidalgo scored twice and August Finn and Schindler added single goals in the opening four minutes for a 9-3 lead.
Muskegon tried to mount a comeback when Ifaturoti and Cavanagh scored within 1:30 of each other, and Stuart Collins put in a penalty kick with five minutes left to cut the Risers’ deficit to 9-6.
But 24 seconds later, Schindler capped off his hat-trick to give Rochester a 10-6 lead, then Gerber and Finn tacked on the games’ final two scores.
“We were up a goal, then down a goal, then two, and it upset our whole mojo,” Ritsema said. “We just have to be more consistent, and do it for four quarters, not just two.”
Rochester finished with a 23-19 shot advantage, including an 18-7 second half edge.
Muskegon’s next home game will be Feb. 2 against Detroit.

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