University of Rochester has won thirteen straight games against RIT since 2000, according to WHEC-TV. Going into the game, RIT was only 16-25-1 all-time against U of R, according to RIT Athletics. On Saturday, September 21, the cross-town teams faced each other again in a tenacious double overtime effort.
On the rainy and wet Saturday night, the Men’s Soccer teams of RIT and U of R squared off in the Battle of Rochester. The matchup was not only intended to continue the rivalry, but also to help a charitable cause. The game was the closer for the second annual Hillside Community Shield, a fundraiser directed at supporting at-risk youth and families in the Rochester area. The Hillside Family of Agencies teamed up with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, RIT, U of R, and others to raise funds for children going to camp next summer through Hillside, according to 13WHAM.
With a record of 3-3-0 for RIT entering Saturday’s game, the Tigers were poised for a victory. The rain shifted between sprinkles and downpours, but this did not stop the Tigers from showing determination. In a defensive clash, the Tigers allowed a goal in the first half and only had three attempted shots (none on goal) by U of R.
At the start of the second half, the rain continued to fluctuate. With both teams playing an offensive second half, there were a combined 15 attempted shots, as opposed to a combined seven attempted shots in the first half. An impressive second half by the Tigers was highlighted with a clutch goal by midfielder Danny Bloshkin, a third year Computer Engineering Technology major, and four essential saves by goalkeeper Mark Reeves, a second year Civil Engineering Technology major.
By the time the second half ended, the game was tied 1-1 and was set to go into overtime. As the first overtime half progressed, the game returned to a defensive encounter, with only two attempted shots by RIT and none by U of R. The second overtime period ended with a 1-1 tie.
After the game, RIT Men’s Soccer Head Coach Bill Garno said playing on the Sahlen’s Stadium’s artificial turf (versus wet grass) was an asset to both teams. He expressed pride in his team’s defensive performance, and the way they appeared to have fun while remaining relentless. “We had a lot of good, positive movement tonight. We always want to win, but tonight was positive,” he said with a smile on his face.
The RIT Tigers enter their next home matchup at 2 p.m. on September 28 with a 3-3-1 record as they look to get a win against Clarkson University.