On a day when the UR men’s soccer team needed more warriors than artists, the warriors came to battle. The Yellowjackets put forth an inspired effort on an overcast day in Geneseo. In an excessively physical game, marred by fouls, cautions and ejections, the Yellowjackets emerged as 1-0 victors thanks to a second half volley from junior captain Ben Cross.

The game began at a frantic pace with neither team establishing dominance. Most of the play in the first half was in the midfield with only sporadic chances. The best chance of the half came for UR when freshman Jon Allen hit the post on a low shot in the 28th minute. In the last five minutes of the first half, both teams began to play with a sense of urgency and created several opportunities. Geneseo forced several good saves out of UR’s goalie, junior, Brian Minehan, who was not fazed by their efforts. He exuded confidence and used his thunderous punts to start several counterattacks. Despite each teams effort the game went into the break tied at 0-0.

The second half started with a rash of yellow cards, four within fifteen minutes. UR and Geneseo exchanged chances from long shots by junior Nick Wheeler and Geneseo forward Justin Madden. Rochester began to establish its dominance when senior forward Nate Giordano had two good chances, one off a volley and the other shot came off a cross from sophomore Nate Micklos.

Finally, in the 61st minute Cross answered any questions with a volley into the top right corner off a cross from senior forward Jacques Appleby. The goal seemed to inspire Geneseo to fight harder but the Yellowjackets’ defense, superbly marshaled by junior Ross D’Eredita, was up to the challenge.

Frustration got the better of Geneseo midfielder Eric Lauricella when he came in on a brutal challenge on D’Eredita in the 86th minute. The referee deservingly showed him a red card and Geneseo was forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game. Rochester continued to push forward and created some dangerous chances off of senior Paul Lehman’s long throw-ins.

The game ended with UR out-shooting Geneseo 19-8, resulting in Rochester’s first shutout of the season. Head coach Chris Apple said of the game, “I knew it was going to be a tough game, I told the team before the game that they would have to be better in the tackle and in the air, and they were.”

Apple had special praise for the team’s defensive efforts late in the second half, “we played good strong defense to hold them off after the goal.”

Goal scorer Ben Cross commended the team saying that, “Everyone showed a lot of heart, determination, and courage.”

The win brought the Yellowjackets’ record to 2-1-1 on the season. The Yellowjackets will take to the road to face Clarkson University on Saturday and Ithaca College on Tuesday.

UR will return home on Saturday, September 28thto square off against UAA conference rival, New York University in Fauver Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

White can be reached at jwhite@campustimes.org.

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