The Rochester Rhinos played to a scoreless draw with the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday, May 3rd 2014 in Legion Stadium. The point was the second of the weekend for the Rhinos who played to a 1:1 draw in Richmond last night in the first leg of their back-to-back weekend. Rochester rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy kept his third consecutive clean sheet to secure the point for the visitors.
In the seventh minute McCarthy was called on to make a save, and responded with a superior effort. Wilmington midfielder Sunny Jane played a through ball that was initially misplayed by the Rhinos back four. The ball put striker Cody Arnoux through on goal. Arnoux drove into the Rochester penalty area and forced McCarthy to come off of his goal line to cut down on Arnoux's shooting angle. When he was eight yards out from the Rhinos goal Arnoux responded by playing the ball across the goal mouth. Wilmington's Samuel Ochoa tried to finish Arnoux's cross, but his effort was blocked by Rochester right back Pat McMahon. The rebound fell at the feet of the Hammerheads Tom Parratt who looked to have an easy finish until McCarthy denied him with a full extension dive from point blank range.
With the Rochester Rhinos playing their second match in 24 hours, head coach Bob Lilley made eight changes to the side that earned a draw with the defending USL PRO regular season champions on Friday night in Richmond. For the second consecutive night, Lilley's group looked content to put high pressure on Wilmington in the Rochester defensive half while allowing the Hammerheads to possess the ball in their own half. The strategy once again limited the home side's chances and left the visiting Rhinos in position to pick up points for the second consecutive night.
McCarthy was called on to secure the points in the 86th minute. After the Hammerheads had a long throw into the Rhinos box cleared, Wilmington reloaded their attack with a pass from the back four into substitute Drew Ruggles feet. Ruggles played the ball square to Steven Miller who was 30 yards out from the Rhinos goal in the middle of the pitch. Miller took a touch before blasting a shot towards the upper right corner of the Rhinos goal. McCarthy dove to his left and got a hand on Miller's long range effort to knock it up and over the cross bar.
In the 90th minute Rhinos striker JC Banks appeared to possibly be tugged down in the penalty box. However, the referee did not grant the appeals from the visitors and time ran out on both sides.
The 0:0 result was the third consecutive shutout that the Hammerheads have suffered at home to start the 2014 USL PRO season.
On the other end of the pitch, the clean sheet was the third consecutive for McCarthy. The Rhinos rookie goalkeeper has a 270 minute scoreless streak to start his career.
The point for Rochester gives the Rhinos an identical record to the Richmond Kickers at 2 – 1- 3. The Rhinos are unbeaten in their last five matches, but remain in fourth place in the USL PRO table on goal differential. With two matches left on the USL PRO schedule on Saturday night, three teams could join Richmond and Rochester on nine points depending on the results, however both the Rhinos and Kickers would pick up at least one game in hand.
The Rochester Rhinos next home match is on Saturday, May 10th at 7PM against the defending USL PRO Champion Orlando City.