HARRISBURG, Pa. (September 7, 2017) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies picked up their second road win of the season on Wednesday night, gritting out a 3-2 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders.
The win sees the Rowdies head into a long break with a bit of momentum.
Here’s Three Things from the match…
1. On a cold, rainy night in Harrisburg
There’s an old idiom about English soccer teams. Even if they’re really good, people always question, “Can they do on a cold, rainy night in Stoke?” The Rowdies accomplished the American soccer equivalent, battling rain throughout the match to win on a cold, wet night in Harrisburg.
Tampa Bay came into the match with a 1-5-6 (W-T-L) record away from Al Lang Stadium this season and it didn’t look good when the City Islanders took a lead in the 31st minute. Tampa Bay was just 1-3-6 when conceding the first goal of the game this season.
The Rowdies didn’t give up though. Instead, their dug their heels into the wet grass and gritted out a win in convincing fashion, taking a big step toward erasing one of their biggest bogeymen.
Tampa Bay now has three road games left in the regular season to get into good form for any potential playoff road games.
2. Battle for the scoring lead
Georgi Hristov and Martin Paterson came into the match with eight goals each in league play to share the team lead in scoring.
Georgi scored his ninth of the season in the 36th minute to take the advantage over Paterson.
The Englishman must’ve hated falling behind his Bulgarian counterpart because it took just three minutes for Paterson to get himself on the scoresheet and nullify Hristov’s scoring lead, at least temporarily.
And what a goal it was, a 22-yard curler that City Islanders goalkeeper Brandon Miller had no chance to save.
Georgi went on to regain the lead with his 68th minute penalty kick, running his goals total to double digits this season, but Paterson would like to remind you that he scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this season, meaning both strikers have tallied 10 goals in all competitions.
3. A long break awaits
Wednesday night’s tilt in Harrisburg was originally scheduled to be the first of two Rowdies matches in Pennsylvania this week, but Hurricane Irma’s anticipated arrival in Florida has caused the schedule to shift.
The Rowdies were due to travel to Allentown on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s road match against the Bethlehem Steel FC, but will instead return to Tampa Bay on Thursday to be with their families and assist in hurricane preparation. The road match against the Steel will now take place on Wednesday, September 27.
With no game this weekend and a scheduled bye next week, the Rowdies are now off until September 23 when they host the Charlotte Independence at Al Lang Stadium. That match will kick off a mad dash toward the end of the regular season with Tampa Bay now set to its final play six games in a span of just 20 days.