A Regular Season to Remember

by Nathan Dunn

The Kansas City Comets produced an unforgettable regular-season campaign. The Comets overcame significant challenges to get the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, earning the most wins for the team in a regular season since 2016-17.

It took a renewed belief and team effort to overcome the longest losing streak in franchise history. There were some special individual seasons that stood out to push the Comets forward into postseason play in April.

Zach Reget proved to be in a class of his own. Despite missing a couple of games through international duty, the 28-year-old had a career season with an MASL-leading 35 goals along with 48 points. Reget was indispensable to the Comets, earning more top-star performances than any other player in the MASL.

Reget guided the Comets back to the postseason as the most dominant target forward in the MASL, directly involved in more than 30% of the Comets' goals. Only Monterrey's Genaro Castillo tallied more points, though his production accounted for less than 24% of Monterrey's scores. Reget and Castillo lead the MASL tied with five game-winning goals, but Reget's overtime winner against St. Louis will go down as another major moment for the Comets this season.

Another key ingredient to the Comets' success has been the goalkeeper pool. Nicolau Neto enshrined his name among the MASL's elite goalkeepers this season, leading the East with 262 saves while maintaining a top-two spot across the league in save percentage (75%) and wins (14). Neto set career records in saves and goals against average (4.68), which was third throughout the league. The Brazilian also displayed his distribution as a weapon, leading the East with five assists.

Neto's game was pushed to another level with the assistance of Phillip Ejimadu, who proved to be another shot-stopper with a bright Comets future. Ejimadu stopped 71% of shots and made 82 saves in less than 207 minutes of work. The goalkeeper staff led by the legendary Alan Mayer and Kenny Mayer have put together an uber-talented goalkeeper pool that also includes Chris Frederick.

The headline offseason additions of dynamic defenders Robert Palmer and Chad Vandegriffe also proved to be difference-makers. Palmer set an MASL single-season record with 86 blocks in just 19 games. Vandegriffe blocked 61 shots, which is the third-most in a season in MASL history.

The duo also became the first players in league history to reach the 300-block milestone over their respective careers. As former Defenders of the Year with championship-winning experience, they will continue to be valuable assets to the team.

The Comets are far from finished. They are headed to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a head full of steam after finishing the season on a six-game winning streak and winning seven of the final eight games.

The Comets open the best-of-three conference semifinal series against Utica City FC in Game 1 at Cable Dahmer Arena on Monday, April 8. Tickets for Game 1 can be purchased through Ticketmaster or for a discounted price at kccomets.com/2024-playoffs.