Patrick Spike (15), Rochester Adams, attempts to get past Noah Suleskey (20), Rochester, during boys varsity soccer action at Rochester Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)
Soccer - Boys
BOYS SOCCER: Adams, Rochester play to second tie of the season WITH TOUT VIDEOS
Vinnie Dimarco (18), Rochester Adams, collides with a sliding Demetri Pliakos, Rochester, during boys varsity soccer action at Rochester Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)
Spiro Pliakos (7), Rochester, celebrates scoring a goal with teammates Luke Deel (13) and Jimmy Stathakios (4), during boys varsity soccer action at Rochester Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)
Mike Alghoussaini (12), Rochester Adams, receives a pass during boys varsity soccer action at Rochester Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Patrick Spike (15), Adams, is also pictured. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)
ROCHESTER – Annually grouped into the same playoff district, city rivals Rochester and Rochester Adams certainly care about their head-to-head regular season matchups, but the most memorable and deserved bragging rights are generally reserved for postseason play.
If the two teams should meet again in the districts down the road, expect the winner to feel like it just hit the rivalry jackpot more than ever, as Tuesday's second regular season meeting of September once again resulted in a draw, 2-2.
Two games, two ties. Bragging rights deferred.
The Falcons (3-2-4, 1-1-2 OAA Red) held a one-goal lead twice, but were unable to fend off the Highlanders' offensive attack to prevent an equalizer.
"Coming back from one goal is hard enough, but to do it twice is big," Adams coach Josh Hickey said. "Both of (Rochester's) goals were world-class goals. We tucked some in ourselves. It was a great game with great goals. We just fought our way through. I'm proud of them."
Rochester took a 2-1 lead with 18:09 remaining in the second half, but Adams (3-5-4) responded less than four minutes later, setting up some final tense minutes that, in the end, still failed to produce a victor.
"It's very disappointing, but I'm super proud of the way we kept our composure," Falcons coach Chris Purgatori said of failing to maintain their leads. "When they came back and tied it at one, I thought we did a great job getting our second goal. I thought we we did a great job again when they (tied it 2-2)."
Senior Spiro Pliakos opened the scoring for Rochester midway through the first half when he struck a perfect long-range shot that spun neatly toward the far goalpost from 30 yards out.
The Highlanders drew even at 28:38 of the second half when Josh Kidder's free kick from the midfield was redirected in front of the goal off of a Zach Limb header to beat the Rochester keeper.
Adams came close to taking a lead a few minutes later when Shayan Shushtari possessed the ball at the edge of the box with a chance to gently loft the ball over the head of the goalkeeper, who was out to challenge. But Shushtari's attempt just sailed over the crossbar, leaving the score knotted at one goal aside.
The highlight goal of the night belonged to Rochester. Midway through the second half, Pliakos threaded a pass in to teammate Evan Asuncion, who carried it toward the end line before slipping a pass across the mouth of the net to a streaking Noah Suleskey to tap it into the open net at the far post.
"That's what we've been doing in practice the last two weeks, working on those little combinations," Purgatori said. "It paid off today. Some things you harp on all season and that's one of those things with us making those runs into space and creating space for ourselves. I thought we played that ball perfectly. We slotted the ball back through the middle, which is something I've talked about since Day One. They listened and they learned, so I'm happy."
The Highlanders were resilient once more, however, as Kidder once again set up a goal, this time from a long throw-in to the front of the net, which junior Matt Wise was able to clearly strike into the corner of the goal on a header.
"We weren't nervous (about trailing) because we were playing well," Hickey said. "(Rochester's second goal) was good. They beat us for a split second and it was in the back of the net, but we came back fighting. I'm proud of them."
Both of Adams' tallies came on set-piece plays, which Purgatori said is something his Falcons team will need to work on correcting.
Unlike the first meeting of the season, in which Adams scored in the final two minutes to force a 1-1 tie, both coaches agreed that Tuesday's rematch featured considerably more energy and execution from each side, which resulted in several highly-skilled goals.
The Highlanders will return to action Thursday at Birmingham Brother Rice, while the Falcons are off until Friday's road game against North Farmington.