Aspenleiter scores as Yellowjackets march on

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Aidan Miller and Ryan Aspenleiter (Pittsford Mendon) scored second half goals as the University of Rochester defeated Mount St. Mary College, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs at Edwin Fauver Stadium on Saturday evening.

The win puts Rochester into Sunday night’s second round game against the winner of St. Lawrence and Brockport who dueled after the UR-MSMC game. Rochester is 13-2-2 overall. Mount St. Mary finished 14-6-1.

MSMC goalkeeper Tyler Rapp made life in the penalty area difficult for the Yellowjackets. He finished with four saves and made a number of acrobatic punchouts of crosses and several deflections.

“Tyler is very active,” said Mount St. Mary coach Kevin Longacre. “He has long arms and he commands his box. It was not the easiest of conditions to play in. He caused some problems for Rochester on their crosses.”

The Yellowjackets applied pressure from the start, spraying the ball to both wings and attacking through the wings. Mitch Volis was particulary effective. He nearly had an assist in the seventh minute. Volis raced down left wing and hit a hard cross to the near post. Miller raced it and drove it into the lower left hand corner, only to see the assistant referee’s flag up for offside.

“Mitch put in a perfect ball,” Miller said. “And I was sure I could hear Coach Apple yelling ‘get to the near post’.” The official’s flag said differently.

He did get a goal – three minutes into the second half. It came from a well-timed maneuver by Nik Angyal and developed into a breakaway. “They were in a counter (attack),” Angyal said of the Knights. The center mid was going to play the ball. I saw that and jumped in.”

Angyal stole the ball and raced forward. He saw Miller running ahead of him and perfectly timed the pass to catch Miller in full flight and onside. He cut in and lined it under Rapp’s dive into the corner. “I was fortunate,” Miller said. “The guy tracking the ball got a toe to it.”

Although Rochester spent a good deal of time in the MSMC defensive half of the field, the Yellowjackets had to be wary of the counter. “Very important,” Angyal said. “The defense has to stay alert. One outlet pass could mean someone breaking down on goal. It’s import to always be on their toes.”

With just over 31 minutes left, Volis drove a corner kick from the right touchline to the back post. Zach Lawlor’s (Aquinas) header was cleared away by Max Antisell.

The clock was under 13 minutes when Rio Kehe ran down  ball on the right sideline. Rapp charged well off the line to get to it, but Kehe got there first. He ran several steps and from a sharp angle, tried to shoot at the open net. The ball rolled goalward, and just past the left post, leaving the crowd groaning.

Three minutes later though, the Yellowjackets found the clinching goal they sought. Patrice Douge hit a hard, low cross from the left touchline inside the crease where Aspenleiter rammed it into the roof of the net.

MSMC’s best chance to get on the scoreboard came with two minutes left. Joseph Mesoraca played a one-two with a teammate, took the return, but corkscrewed his shot over the crossbar.

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