Rochester Flash 3, Nashville Diamonds 0 (07.02.82)

Rochester 3-0 Nashville

June 20, 1982 — Holleder Stadium (Rochester, N.Y.)

Scoring Summary
ROCH — Alex Vayman (Karl Tausch) 29′
ROCH — Mick Lashchev 64′
ROCH — Franco Paonessa (Ian Martin) 88′

Lashchev, Flash beat Nashville

(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 07.03.82)

By Michael Lewis

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Mike Lashchev was so ecstatic he leaped into the air and let loose with a flying punch. Then he wiped his brow in relief.

“Finally,” he said to himself. “Thank God.”

Finally, Lashchev scored a goal. It wasn’t an artistic game-winner in the Rochester Flash’s 3-0 soccer victory over the Nashville Diamonds last nigh, but it was good enough to break a personal six-game scoring drought.

A Holleder Stadium crowd of 3,337 watched the fifth-place Flash (41 points) even their American Soccer League record at 4-4-2 while the last-place Diamonds (25 points) dropped to 2-9-1.

Lashchev, last year’s Flash scoring leader, was glad he finally had scored.

“This was a very important goal for me,” he said. “I wanted to prove something to some people. I wanted to prove to them I could still score.”

He proved it in the second half as he beat Nashville goalkeeper Fred Armstrong in a scramble in front of the net at 63:24.

Statistically, it hasn’t been the best of seasons for Lashchev. Big things were expected of the ASL All-Star, but he has only two goals and three assists, a far cry from his 13-goal, five-assist performance of 1981.

“There’s been a lot of talking lately about how I didn’t score and this and that,” Lashchev said.

“Everybody didn’t understand. This year it’s a little different. Since I was getting double covered and I decided to take my men with me and create more open space so my teammates could score goals. As long as we win, it doesn’t matter who scores,” he said.

“The pressure is off him,” said Flash Coach Don Lalka. “It’ll come a little easier for him. It’s like a guy in baseball who’s in a batting slump. A few hits will loosen him up.”

Lashchev’s cousin, midfielder Alex Vayman also broke a personal six-game scoreless streak, but Vayman wasn’t expected to score many goals this season. Vayman scored his fifth goal of the season off an assist by Karl Tausch at 28:47 of the first half.

“We played the first half very well,” Vayman said. “In the second half, we saved our power for tomorrow (tonight’s game against the Express in Detroit). We knew this team was so-so, but Detroit is good.”

Vayman was given an opportunity to save his strength for tonight by Lalka late in the game. His replacement, rookie Franco Paonessa, scored his first professional goal at 87:40 off an Ian Martin assist.

The Flash dominated the game so the Diamonds could never put together a consistent attack. They controlled the ball almost 70 percent of the game, giving goalkeeper Jim Perriello and the defense time to rest. The Diamonds took only six shots.

Perriello, a Marshall High graduate, watched his goals against average drop to a microscopic 0.19 with his fourth shutout in five games. Perriello and the Flash haven’t surrendered a goal at home in 407 minutes, 51 seconds, or since the Pennsylvania Stoners scored in the second half of their 1-0 victory June 13.

“I’ve been lucky that I haven’t made a lot of mistakes,” Perriello said of his streak. “The few mistakes I have made, I’ve covered up.

“Right now we’re playing better than anybody in the league.”