New month, new RNY FC.

For the first time since the end of May (and the last long holiday weekend), Rochester did not need spot kicks to pick up points: no late Caique Santos heroics, or the pressure of finding the back of the net to pick up an extra point.

No, this time, it was hanging on late after what was a dominant performance for about 80 minutes.

Rochester knocked off Orlando City B 3-2, although the scoreline was massively flattering to the visitors on the night RNY FC hosted Military and First Responders Night.

The hosts got an opening goal from center back Lamar Bastista, and two goals on either side of halftime, to move back into third place in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference table

The first half was all RNY FC, which racked up 17 shots on the evening at John L. DiMarco Field (eight on target). Batista was on the end of a scramble inside the box in the 19th minute to smash the ball home and give Rochester a 1-0 lead.

The next 20 minutes saw Rochester pummeling the Orlando City B net, but the hosts could not find their second goal until the waning minutes of the first half. A misplayed header from Orlando City B fell right to the feet of Jesus Batiz, who found Ian Garrett out wide. Garrett played a beautifully-weighted ball across the six that found Rayo, who turned it into the net one minute into stoppage time to make the score 2-0.

That fortuitously-timed goal sent the teams into the break with vastly different team talks, and it was RNY FC that scored the next goal in the 62nd minute, which looked to have locked up all three points. Batiz started off the action again, finding Pedro Dolabella, who in turn fed Rayo in the six once again to make it 3-0.

Up to that point, RNY FC had held MLS NEXT Pro phenom Jack Lynn quiet, but the star scored his 11th goal of the season just three minutes after Rayo’s, and Orlando City B was thrown a lifeline with 25-plus minutes to go in the game. While Caíque did not have to make any penalty saves, he did have to come up with a huge stop from Lynn in the final 10 minutes, which proved to be even more pivotal once Neicer Acosta scored in the sixth minute of second half stoppage time to cut the deficit to 3-2.

But there was no more time left for a comeback: referee Kaitlyn Trowbridge blew the final whistle, and RNY FC picked up all three points for the first time since May 29.

The victory pulled Rochester to within two points of second place New England Revolution 2 in the table, one point ahead of NYCFC, and maybe most importantly, six points clear of Philadelphia Union 2 in fifth place. Remember, the top four at the end of the regular season make the playoffs.

There is still a lot of soccer left to play before that, though, but RNY FC has started July with more goals scored in one night than it scored in all of June (four games, two goals). Rochester still has four more matches this month, with three at home, including two against the two teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Will July look a lot like May for RNY FC? If it does, it will be a very good month for the fans.


RNY FC: vs. Philadelphia Union 2, Thursday, July 7, 7 p.m. EDT (12 a.m. UK time), Monroe Community College

Orlando City B: vs. Inter Miami CF 2, Sunday, July 10, 7 p.m. EDT, Osceola Heritage Park