By TRAVIS CLARK
A busy weekend of Division 2 soccer saw a new team jump to the top of the table.
The red-hot Rochester Rhinos won their fourth straight game, defeating the Montreal Impact by a 2-1 margin, taking over top spot in the league in the process. Isaac Kissi scored a late second-half goal, breaking a 1-1 tie and securing all three points for the Rhinos.
That result, combined with the Austin Aztex losing in Puerto Rico, saw the Rhinos overtake the Aztex in the USL Conference and the overall points lead — though Rochester has played three more games than Austin.
Here's a look at the rest of the USSF D-2 action from this weekend:
Puerto Rico beats Austin in Bayamon
The Puerto Rico Islanders secured a massive home result, the weekend prior to the start of the CONCACAF Champions League, dropping league-leading Austin Aztex 2-0. Austin traveled without two of their best strikers in Jamie Watson and Maxwell Griffin, and paid the price with the shutout. Puerto Rico's David Foley and Daniel Keon grabbed the goals, as the Islanders hope to compete in Champions League while also securing a D-2 playoff spot.
Crystal Palace Baltimore holds off Carolina
Another bottom tier side desperate for a win, Baltimore took out Carolina by a 2-1 score to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tsuyoshi Yoshitake and Gary Brooks gave the home side a two-goal lead in the first half that they managed to hold on to, securing a win at home for the first time since May 22. Matt Watson gave Carolina hope just under 15 minutes left, but Evan Bush held strong in the Baltimore net.
Tampa, Miami battle to wild draw
An entertaining, back-and-forth meeting between Tampa Bay and Miami ended in a 3-3 tie, thanks to a late equalizer from Miami FC's Martin Nunez. The two sides traded goals in the first half — Chivas USA loanee Chukwudi Chijindu gave Miami the lead, before another Chivas loanee, Maykel Galindo, equalized for the Rowdies. The two exchanged goals before the half, and Aaron King gave the Rowdies a 3-2 lead before Nunez stepped up late.
Vancouver secures road win in Minnesota
A rock-solid defense held firm once again, and Martin Nash's 15th minute goal stood up as the Whitecaps beat NSC Minnesota 1-0. Vancouver is gaining steam, unbeaten in five and have yet to lose on the road in their past nine games. They've only lost one game in the past three month, and now hold a commanding lead over Carolina in the NASL Conference. Meanwhile, the Stars are holding on for dear life to a playoff spot, and need to nick a few more wins to make the postseason.
Portland gets revenge on A.C. St. Louis
Looks like the Timbers have located scoring help for Ryan Pore. Forward Bright Dike grabbed the game's only goal, en route to a 1-0 road shut out against A.C. St. Louis. Dike, one of the Columbus Crew's 2010 first round draft picks, tallied in the first half for the fourth goal of the season, and Steve Cronin held St. Louis at bay. Luis Gil, loaned out to A.C. on Friday from RSL, debuted as an 76th minute substitute.