Friday, August 17, 2018
Sports

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

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

Preseason football: River Ridge 44, Pasco 24

NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge rode the arms of quarterbacks Kyle St. John and Travis Hawks on Friday night en route to a 44-24 preseason win over Pasco."(St. John and Hawks) both played really well tonight," River Ridge coach Ryan Benjamin said. "The...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

BOSTON — Scoring three runs in the top of the first inning is typically a good start toward a victory.But not so much at cozy Fenway Park.And definitely not against these red-hot Red Sox.Facing their AL East rivals for the first time since late...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Preseason football: Plant 25, Venice 25

VENICE — Plant coach Robert Weiner stressed to his team the importance of creating turnovers in preparation for Friday’s anticipated showdown with Class 7A defending state champion Venice. Weiner even devoted one day of practice this week to focus on...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, August 18

TODAYAutosIndyCar: ABC Supply 5 00 qualifying3 p.m.NBCSNMotoCross: Budds Creek National5 p.m.NBCSNMonster Energy Cup: Bass Pro Shops Night Race6:30 p.m.NBCSN; 102.5-FMBaseballBlue Jays at Yankees1 p.m.MLBOrioles at Indians4 p.m.FS1Rays at Red Sox7 p....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Friday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Manager Kevin Cash has talked up RHP Ryne Stanek as an MVP of the opener experiment, given how well he has handled the transition to pitching the first inning. On Friday, not so much. Stanek said he didn't think relieving Thursday had an impact.OF Ma...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Preseason football: Zephyrhills 13, Mitchell 9 (three quarters)

LAND O’LAKES — It would have been easy for Zephryhills coach Nick Carroll and Mitchell coach Andy Schmitz to read the riot act to their teams after Friday night’s preseason game. Instead, their messages were the same: Forget about it and move on.For ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Rays’ kids are all right, and this is a great time to show it

The Rays’ kids are all right, and this is a great time to show it

This baseball season has been filled with Haves and Have Nots. And your entertaining Rays are smack dab in the middle of it.Kevin Cash's team left New York for Boston on Thursday night and they hardly needed a plane after a 3-1 win and their first se...
Updated: 2 hours ago
From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE — Ten thousand blue leis were distributed to Titans fans for the NFL draft on the day their team picked Marcus Mariota.The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't even at Nissan Stadium for the party, which drew a crowd of 20,000. But the w...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 5 hours ago