Saturday, November 25, 2017
Sports

Rowdies season ends with playoff loss to New York Red Bulls II

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — So much for seedings.

The defending United Soccer League champion New York Red Bulls II, a No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, notched its second upset by defeating the No. 3 Rowdies 2-1 in extra time Saturday night in front of 5,119 at Al Lang Stadium. The Red Bulls (14-14-5) advance to the Eastern final next Saturday at Louisville.

Tampa Bay ends its season 14-8-11.

"We’re obviously very disappointed with the end result," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "We created our chances and felt we deserved the result tonight."

The winning goal came in the 93rd minute during the first 15-minute extra period. New York midfielder Florian Valot crossed a ball just past the finger­tips of goalkeeper Matt Pickens and onto the foot of a sliding Stefano Bonomo, who redirected the cross into the goal from 5 yards out to make it 2-1.

The Rowdies had 27 minutes to find an equalizer but couldn’t do it. Perhaps the best chance came 22 minutes into extra time when substitute Martin Paterson took a pass 10 yards from goal. He turned and launched a left-footer that went just wide left. A minute later, Sebastian Guenzatti cranked a 20-yarder that just cleared the bar. And in extra time, Hunter Gorskie had a shot go off the right post.

It never would have gone to extra time had it not been for Red Bulls keeper Evan Louro. He made two diving saves, one in the 87th minute on a Michael Nanchoff shot and another in the 88th minute on a Neill Collins shot, that kept the score tied at 1. He also had three saves in extra time.

"Their keeper was the best player on the pitch," Rowdies midfielder Joe Cole said. "With the way he played, it just wasn’t going to be our day."

The match was physical from the beginning, and New York actually had two early scoring chances that were thwarted by Pickens. But in the 26th minute the Rowdies scored the half’s only goal.

Defender Zac Portillos was unchecked from 30 yards out and ripped a shot that caromed off a New York defender. Georgi Hristov collected the loose ball about 10 yards from goal and took a left-footed shot that beat Louro. It was Hristov’s second playoff goal. Tampa Bay has scored at least one goal in 17 straight matches dating back to July 6.

Two minutes later, Marcel Schafer passed to a wide open Cole, who looked like had a chance at scoring Tampa Bay’s second goal. But Louro saved it to keep the score 1-0 at halftime.

The lead held until the 57th minute. Red Bulls midfielder Junior Flemmings made a steal outside the 18-yard box and had a clear run at goal. Pickens came out of the net and tripped Flemmings before he could get off a shot, which resulted in a penalty kick.

Bonomo converted the penalty kick to tie the match. New York is 9-for-9 on penalty kicks this season, the only USL team without a miss.

This was only the second home loss for the Rowdies this year, going 11-2-5 at Al Lang.

"The feeling at the moment is disappointment," said Cole, who also said he would be returning next season. "Disappointment for the fans, the players, the staff, the owner.

"But this is football and sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.’’

   
Comments

No. 7 Florida finishes No. 17 Gonzaga in 2OT; No. 1 Duke up next for Gators

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jalen Hudson scored a career-high 35, including eight 3-pointers, and No. 7 Florida downed No. 17 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime Friday night at the PK80 Invitational. Senior point guard Chris Chiozza added a career-high 26 poin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

LAKELAND — The game — and the season — were supposed to be over.Lakeland was set to exact revenge. The Dreadnaughts had the lead and the ball in the final three minutes and were heading for a field goal. Then it happened. The magic continued.Plant’s ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Region football: Venice 48, Tampa Bay Tech 17

VENICE — Tampa Bay Tech not only had to stop a hot receiver in Friday night’s Class 7A region final against Venice, but a hot running back as well. That proved to be too much.Indians receiver Jaivon Heiligh caught 14 passes for 193 yards and three to...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Region football: Armwood 31, Ocala Vanguard 17

SEFFNER — Armwood appeared to be on its way to yet another rout through the first 24 minutes of football Friday night.James Miller delivered a crunching hit on the opening kickoff. The defense looked suffocating, holding Ocala Vanguard to a mere 23 y...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Region football: Immokalee 42, Lakewood 14

IMMOKALEE — The final score wasn’t truly indicative of what transpired on Friday night.Lakewood fell to a dynamic Immokalee squad 42-14 in a tough environment in a Class 5A region final.The Spartans (9-2) forced three turnovers and held Immokalee (12...
Updated: 6 hours ago
State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

CLEARWATER — Stocked with a wealth of Division I-A commits and prepared by a heavy-duty schedule, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna spent three months building for Friday night’s Class 3A state semifinal game.The Lions played at another level against top-s...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rose leaves Cavs for ‘personal matter’

Rose leaves Cavs for ‘personal matter’

CLEVELAND — Derrick Rose’s injuries might have pushed him to a breaking point. The 2011 league MVP, who has been trying to revive his career with the Cavaliers, left the team Wednesday to handle a personal matter. A team spokesman said Friday that Ro...
Updated: 6 hours ago

State semifinal football: Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 38, Cambridge Christian 0

TAMPA — Hialeah Champagnat Catholic was well on its way to a third unanswered touchdown, but the Lions just couldn’t stop blocking their own path. In one second-quarter drive during Friday’s 2A state semifinal against Cambridge Christian, Champagnat ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

WASHINGTON — You don’t often sense frustration in captain Steven Stamkos’ voice, at least not this season. With the Lightning off to its best start in franchise history, there haven’t been many reasons to chide. Every criticism seems nitpicky. But af...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hogs boot Bielema out after five seasons

Hogs boot Bielema out after five seasons

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas fired football coach Bret Bielema after five disappointing seasons, moments after a season-ending 48-45 loss to Missouri on Friday. Arkansas finished 4-8, capping the second losing season of Bielema’s 12-year career. He ...
Updated: 7 hours ago