Hershey Wildcats Edge Rochester Rhinos, 1-0, Advance to Face D.C. United
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Monday, July 2, 2001) - The final fight in Round Two of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup got off to a fiery start as the Hershey Wildcats traveled to Rochester to trade shots with the Raging Rhinos for the remaining berth in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.
Rochester's Nathan Daligcon and John Wolyniec provided great excitement as the Rhinos dominated the first half of the match. Wolyniec was the driving force of the attack but failed to convert any of the numerous chances into goals. The Rhinos saw an excellent opportunity about 15 minutes into the match as Wolyniec pierced the Wildcats' defensive line for a shot that flew just wide hitting the side of the net. The Wildcats held their host at bay more effectively for the latter part of the first half. Neither team was able to find the back of the net and they closed the half still scoreless.
The Wildcats picked up the pace early in the second half with Steve Klein making a good attempt at putting the Hershey side on the scoreboard minutes into the half. Rochester quickly snapped back with a round of several close calls. Carlos Zavala, Martin Nash and Lenin Steenkamp all took shots at the goal, narrowly missing in each attempt.
Tension mounted as the two teams traded shots keeping both keepers scrambling to protect their turf. The Wildcats finally succeeded in pulling away from the Rhinos with Klein smashing the scoreless tie with a swift shot to the upper left-hand corner in the 71st minute.
Hershey's win tonight is in keeping with the season-long trend between the two teams as they have traded victories with one-goal differentials.
Steve Klein commented after game on scoring the game-winning goal, "I hoped that it would (win the game). We've had the lead before up here and not been able to close it out. I knew we had to tighten up the defense and hold on for about 20 minutes and I'm glad we were able to do that."
Although the Rhinos out-shot the Wildcats, it was the tight defense of the Hershey side that won the close game. The game marked the eleventh shutout of the season for Wildcats' keeper Jon Busch. The Hershey side will look to repeat their solid performance when they face MLS powerhouse D. C. United in round three of the U.S. Open Cup.