Restless fans boo Quakes as Rochester triumphs

Tim Hunt
Date Published: 

SAN JOSE—So much for brilliant coaching maneuvers.

San Jose Earthquake coach Gabbo Gavric looked like a genius for about four minutes of the second half here Saturday night. Gavric had just inserted Alan Birchenall in favor of Trevor Hockey and the Quakes responded with their only goal of the game with 67 minutes gone to knot the score at 1-1.

Just two minutes later, Rochester's Craig Reynolds, taking advantage of a fast break opportunity, rebounded home a deflected shot and give the Lancers the lead back and boost the visitors to their eventual 3-1 triumph.

The loss left 17,741 in attendance ready to voice their displeasure, which they did with a period of sustained booing at the game's conclusion. San Jose is now further mired in the Southern Division cellar with 53 points. Dallas, a 5-3 winner over fourth place Hawaii last night, vaulted into first place while Los Angeles and Las Vegas will do battle this afternoon to see which team will take over the lead. The teams are currently tied for second with 71 points.

Rochester was content to sit back and play defense after scoring in the first five minutes, which allowed San Jose to control virtually the entire game. Unfortunately for the Quakes, they were unable to cash in on several good opportunities.

Rochester goalkeeper Jack Brand was partially responsible for San Jose's offensive woes, but the Earthquakes themselves failed to shoot the ball on goal on several other occasions.

Geoff Davis scored the only Quake goal when he headed home Leroy DeLeon's cross at 67:07. The tie was shortlived as Rochester caught the Earthquakes pushing forward and regained the lead just two minutes later.

Mike Stojanovic dribbled into the Quake penalty area before smacking a hard shot toward the far corner. Earthquake goalkeeper Mike Hewitt deflected the ball but was unable to handle it, and Reynolds was right there to tap it in. Rochester maximized its victory at nine points in the standings when Reynolds drove home a crossing ball from Mike Bakic with just 35 seconds remaining in the game. Gabbo Gavric shuffled his lineup considerably for this important clash, giving Johnny Moore his first start of the season on the right wing. With Moore playing on the right side Davies moved back to midfield along with Tony Simoes and Hockey.

DeLeon returned from a bruised hip to take over on the left wing while Paul Child played striker. San Jose went with the same four defenders it has gone with all season, but that experience failed to help as Rochester scored just 4:24 into the contest.

With most of the crowd just getting [missing] Don Droege outjumped DeLeon in the Rochester offensive zone and headed the ball to defender Jim Pollihan near the goalpost. Pollihan volleyed the ball across the goal mouth to Bakic, who was all alone to drive in the shot in the far corner.

The Quakes generated some decent offensive chances over the final 20 minutes of the first half, finally testing Brand. Brand was equal to the task, turning aside six of the 13 San Jose shots.