On Monday vs. U of D Jesuit, the Falcons started off the night strong. Taking an early 2-0 lead on two goals from Gunnar Foster, less then 10 minutes into the contest at U of D. The Cubs quickly gained a goal back to make it 2-1 heading into halftime.
Rochester came out strong in the second half converting an early goal from Niko Stathakios to take a 3-1 lead. Shortly after that goal, Rochester junior midfielder Carlito Ankawi scored on a break away to make it 4-1. U of D cut the lead in half with a goal mid way through the second half.
Gunnar foster tallied the hat trick with 10 minutes to go to make it 5-2 falcons. The cubs added a late goal while both teams were in scramble mode to make the final score 5-3. Five goals came with 5 assists. While Foster added 3 goals, he also added a helper. Niko Stathakios, Brady Altherr, Max Morhard and Stefan Baseski also added assists.
9-25-19 Article Courtesy of the Oakland Press
The host Rochester Falcons picked up a convincing 5-1 win over the Lake Orion Dragons in Oakland Activities Association White soccer action Tuesday night.
The Falcons got on the board early when Niko Stathakios was fouled in the box. Viktor Juncaj stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty kick, and Rochester had a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.
The Falcons doubled their lead to 2-0 on another long ball over the top. This time it was Gunnar Forster finishing the play with a blast from 25 yards out along the right side. Foster’s goal came on Rochester’s second shot on goal and with 20:45 remaining in the first half.
“We got started very, very well. We came out firing on all cylinders, and that’s a credit to the boys to get amped up for that and ready to go. They knew it was a very important game. Coming off a super big win last night against U of D, we wanted to carry over that momentum today, and it started off really early with those two goals. I think that really kind of set the tone for the game,” Rochester head coach Chris Purgatori said. “Lake Orion is a very talented team. They’re in our district. I don’t want to see them again, but I’m really happy to come out of the game with a win,” he added.
The Falcons were able to dictate the style of the game most of the night. Rochester did a solid job of breaking up Lake Orion’s attack in the midfield and generally limiting the Dragons’ shots in terms of both quantity and quality. Lake Orion finished with just four total shots, three on net.
Anchored by center back Rodrigo Gaytan, the Lake Orion defense was strong in the center. But the Falcons dominated on the wings, and seemingly every good chance the Falcons created, they finished. And each time it was a different player as the Falcons got five goals from five different players.
Carlito Ankawi, Niko Stathakios, and Griffin Chamberlain added second half goals for Rochester – all by the midway point of the half.
“That’s kind of what we’ve been preaching is somebody has to step up every game. It doesn’t have to be one superstar. It’s got to be everyone playing their role and doing their job, and being happy for their teammates. And if you happen to be the one who scores great, but if not, you need to be there to congratulate them or assist them or do what you can to make sure that we celebrate and cherish whoever,” Purgatori said.
Lake Orion got a glimmer of hope with 34:01 left when Leonardo Fujita sliced in a 25-yard shot yard for Lake Orion’s loan goal to make it 3-1 Rochester and give the Dragons some life. But once Stathakios cut across the edge of the penalty area and rifled in a shot to restore Rochester’s three goal margin with 27:29 to play, the Dragon comeback was cut off.
Despite the loss, Lake Orion (12-5, 4-1 OAA White) still controls the division race. If the Dragons win their remaining two league games against Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham Seaholm next week, then Lake Orion still wins the OAA White Division outright.
“We got beat by a better team. Of all the teams we’ve played, this was probably the best team,” Lake Orion head coach Chris Corteg said. “If we were to play this team again, I would change our shape. We’d have to play them differently,’ he added.
If the Dragons slip up at all, then one or more of Bloomfield Hills, Seaholm, and Rochester could win the division instead.
The Falcons (9-5, 4-2 OAA White) pick up their second impressive win as many days, having defeated University of Detroit Jesuit on Monday. Rochester faces crosstown rival Adams on Thursday in a division crossover game. The Falcons close out division play next Tuesday when they host Oxford.