The Rochester Lancers were a soccer team that played in the American Soccer League from 1967 until 1969 and in the North American Soccer League from 1970 to 1980, playing home games at Aquinas Stadium, which was renamed Holleder Stadium before the 1974 season. Their colors were blue and yellow.
The Lancers were the NASL champions in 1970. In the 1971 season, the Lancers finished first in the Northern Division, and made it to the league semi-finals, but were defeated by the Dallas Tornado.
2011 - 2015
In April 2011 the Major Indoor Soccer League was reorganized and the Rochester Lancers name, logo and colors were resurrected to be one of 7 teams in the league. The team was owned by Chris Wilmot, Sam Fantauzzo, Steve Stokes, John Coraggioso, Luis Ribeiro, and Dom Vieira. The Lancers first home game at the Blue Cross Arena was held on November 12, 2011; they lost to the Missouri Comets 13-4. The Lancers finished the season with an 11-13 record, just qualifying for the 4-team playoffs, and were eliminated in the first playoff round by the Baltimore Blast. They finished the 2012-13 season with a 10-16 record in 5th place, just missing the final playoff spot, and the 2013-14 season with a less-than-stellar record of 6 wins and 14 losses. Contracts with the MISL expired at the end of the 2013-14 season, and negotiations began for a merger with the Professional Arena Soccer League.
On May 19 2014 the Lancers were listed as one of the 24 teams in the new Major Arena Soccer League, however on August 2 Fantauzzo announced they would not return in 2014-15. Following a reorganization and change of ownership spearheaded by team member and longtime Rochester soccer star Doug Miller the team was once again confirmed for the 2014-15 MASL season. The Lancers made the playoffs (with a 10-10-0 record) but were eliminated in the second round.
On July 7 2015 announced that due to large increases in their state workers' compensation insurance premiums they would not return for the 2015-16 season.
2017 - 2022
In April 2017 two new outdoor soccer teams using the Rochester Lancers name, logo and colors, and playing home games at Aquinas Institute's Wegmans Stadium, were announced. The teams moved to Marina Auto Stadium for 2018 as the Rhinos took the year off, returning to Aquinas in 2019.
The Lancers (men's team) competed in the National Premier Soccer League, just missing the playoffs in 2017 and 2018 by finishing third in the NPSL East Conference. In 2019 they improved to second in the conference, posting a won-lost-tied record of 6-2-2; after winning one playoff match they were eliminated in the regional semifinals. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 season was cancelled. In June 2021 it was announced that the Lancers men's team would be sold to, and become the developmental squad for, the Flower City Union after the season, in which the team finished 5th in the Rust Belt Division of the NPSL East Region with a record of 2-7-1. The Flower City Union arrangement fell through, and the team ceased operations.
The Lady Lancers played in the East Conference of United Women's Soccer. They finished seventh (of eight teams) in 2017 but improved to third in 2018, just missing the playoffs. They fell to sixth in 2019, posting a won-lost-tied record of 3-5-2. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 season was cancelled;. Play resumed in 2021 but the team's record fell to 0-10. In 2022 UWS realignment placed the Lancers in the East Conference's Penn-NY Division; the team finished 7-1-2, tied with FC Buffalo for first in the division, but did not advance to the playoffs due to a goal differential tiebreaker. In March 2023 the Lancers announced that the UWS membership would be taken over by Flower City Union, and that the organization would henceforth again focus on indoor soccer.
In November 2018 a new men's indoor soccer team was announced, to compete in the MASL's MASL 2 development league with home games in The Dome Arena. The indoor Lancers finished their 2019 regular season second in the Eastern Division; in the playoffs they won the division championship and finished 3rd in the league. For the 2019-20 season they advanced to the first division MASL; they posted a 1-21 record, winning only their last contest before their final two games were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several MASL teams opted-out of the late-starting 2021 season, including the Lancers as the Dome Arena was being used that winter as a state COVID-19 vaccination site. The Lancers also sat out the 2021-22 MASL season, with the announced intention of returning in 2022-23. Despite a May 2022 announcement by owner Sam Fantauzzo that his MASL first- and second-division franchises were for sale a Lancers squad contested the 2022-23 season in the lower division (now called M2), finishing second in the 4-team North Division.
In March 2023 it was announced that the Lancers would affiliate after the season with the first-division MASL Baltimore Blast as their farm team.
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