BY DAN STICKRADT
UTICA — As far as the Rochester-Rochester Adams rivalry goes, the two have played out many classic games on the soccer pitch spanning some 30 years.
That continued Thursday night in a Division 1 girls soccer district semifinal at Utica’s Swinehart Stadium.
Lara Iaderosa scored in the 72ndminute and that goal stood firm in Adams’ 1-0 victory over Rochester.
Adams defeated Rochester 2-0 back in April, while the Falcons gained their revenge two weeks ago with a 1-0 victory over the Highlanders, setting the stage for the postseason rubber match.
It was the first goal of the season for Iaderosa and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time — the state tournament with 8:37 left in the second half.
“I think I was at the right place at the right time,” said Iaderosa. “The ball was flicked right over to me and I was able to knock it in. We were working so hard and we were trying to score a goal. It’s exciting to score my first goal in a game like this.”
In a nip-and-tuck contest where scoring opportunities were at a premium, sophomore Tiffany Buckler’s free kick from the left side floated into penalty box. Maddie Christenson flicked the ball over to the left post and over to Iaderosa, who left no doubt.
“She’s a warrior,” said Adams coach Aaron Donahy. “She plays all over for us. And we had to go deep into our bench because of injuries and we used Lara all over. She’s the one that came through and scored the goal for us. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid.”
Rochester (12-6-2) came out on fire, registering four shots, two on frame, and two cornerkicks in the first 2:30 of the contest but could not convert. Adams (15-4-1) slowly picked up the pace to even up the play.
“The game could have been a little different if we could have knocked in one early,” sighed Rochester coach Cliff Brandmier. “We felt it would be a one-goal game and I thought it might be an ugly goal. It wasn’t really an ugly goal, definitely not an ESPN highlight goal. It was more of a blue-collar goal where they were able to knock one of their chances. We had some chances of our own.”
Lexi Lewandowski finished with four saves for her 12th shutout of the season for Adams, which held an 11-6 shots advantage in the game, including 5-4 with shots directly on goal.
“Our defense has been really solid all year,” said Donaghy, whose team will play Rochester Stoney Creek (16-3-1) at 12 p.m. Saturday, also at Swinehart Stadium. “We made some adjustments (midway) through the first half and that made a difference. We moved Kylie Nylen back because (Rochester’s (Jessica Goethals) is so fast. We knew this was going to be a one-goal game, so we had to limit their chances.”
Stephanie Heber made four saves for Rochester.
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