Ryan Felix scored in the 19th-minute and his first professional goal off a Kenardo Forbes corner kick was enough to give the Rhinos a 1-0 victory over Ottawa in their first ever meeting. The Rhinos have now gone a whopping 8 matches unbeaten.
The match was relatively quiet early on until Forbes cut inside on an Ottawa defender and slid the ball through to Stefan Defregger who did well to earn the corner. From there, Forbes put across a delicious service, finding both Felix and Wal Fall open at the back post. Felix was first to the ball, and put it into the roof of the net to give Rochester a 1-0 advantage.
“He continues to grow this season,” said Rhinos Head Coach Bob Lilley, “Ryan and Joe (Farrell) have formed a great partnership in the back. Set pieces are really important and it’s great to have one of our backs get on the end of one.”
The Rhinos were exceptional in the first half, controlling over 60% of the possession and owning a 4-2 shot advantage. Given their rough stretch of games, Coach Lilley was particularly impressed.
“We’ve played every Wednesday and Saturday for the last three weeks, which is as difficult of a stretch as we’ll have all year. For us to travel down to Florida and back up to New England before playing tonight, I didn’t know how much we would have in the tank. We played an exceptional first half and we showed a lot of guts at the end. Sometimes you have to make a 1-0 stand up and we did just that.”
As Lilley stated, they had to hold on at the end. Ottawa had their fair share of chances in the second half and came closest when off a free kick, Tucker Hume flicked it onto Ryan Williams who slid it across Tomas Gomez and into the path of an oncoming Fury attacker as Felix came across to deflect the effort onto the crossbar and prevent an empty-net goal.
The Rhinos were paced once again by the aforementioned Gomez, who earned his 5th clean-sheet of the season, second in the USL only to Diego Restrepo of San Antonio FC.
Rochester’s next match is at home as they take on Orlando City B here at Capelli Sport Stadium on Friday, June 23rd at 7:05PM. Tickets are available at this link, at the box office, or at 585-454-KICK!