by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Comets (1-0) took a three-goal lead at the half and expanded on it during an incredible second half to rout the Wichita Wings 14-2 in their opening game of the 2021 Central Cup at Cable Dahmer Arena. Forward Rian Marques posted four goals in the game, and Kyle McLagan and Felipe Abreu each had multi-goal games in the win for Kansas City. Nicolau Neto had a solid performance in goal for the Comets to pick up the win.

Lucas Sousa opened scoring on a John Sosa assist off a set piece to put the Comets up early with 11:33 to go in the opening frame. With just over eight minutes left, Benji Monreal sent home a goal off a header on a rebound to make it 2-0 Comets. Then, Marques was camped on the doorstep of the Wings goal and redirected a rebound for a wallascora to give the Comets a 3-0 advantage after one quarter of play.

Following a blue card to Sousa, Jared Robbins put Wichita on the scoreboard with a power play goal which cut Kansas City’s lead to two goals at 3-1. The home squad answered on a nifty move from the left side by new Comet Christian Anderaos closed out first half scoring and the teams headed to the locker rooms with Kansas City on top 4-1 at the break.

With 8:00 to play in the 3rd quarter, after a blue card to Henry Ramirez, Taylor Henry scored on a shoot-out to cut the Comets lead once again to two, at 4-2. It was all Comets from there.

The first of Kansas City’s 10-straight goals was a rocket from outside the yellow line by McLagan less than 30 seconds after Wichita’s goal. Marques’ second of the night pushed the Comets lead to 6-2 with 5:43 on the clock in the 3rd. Abreu executed a turn to the right and volleyed the ball to himself, knocking it past Wichita keeper Steve Hamersky out of the air for a 7-2 lead.

Henry was shown a blue card late in the 3rd putting the Comets on the power play and Kevin Ellis capitalized on the opportunity with five seconds left in the quarter. Kansas City took an 8-2 lead to the final quarter.

It took just 16 seconds for the Comets to score to start the 4th quarter. Nick McDonald took a through ball from John Sosa to run the score to 9-2. Another 14 seconds passed before Marques completed his hat-trick and it was 10-2 with 14:30 left to play.

James Togbah picked up the next Comets goal, this one from the left side for an 11-2 score followed by Marques’ fourth of the game with 7:55 to go. The final two goals of the game were the second each for Abreu and McLagan with 6:25 and 2:14 left, respectively.

Tomorrow, the Comets will play the Omaha Kings FC to close out their 2021 Central Cup schedule before kicking off the 2021-22 MASL schedule in St. Louis on Friday, November 26.