COMETS CLOSE OUT FLORIDA TRIP WITH WIN
LAKELAND, Florida (Mar. 30, 2019) - A day after securing their spot in the postseason, the Kansas City Comets defeat the Florida Tropics 6-2 at the RP Funding Center. The Comets’ four unanswered goals in the first half and some clutch saves from goalkeeper Mark Saxby were driving force behind the victory.
The game started with back-and-fourth action with neither team really having continued control of the ball. Shots were made on both ends of the field, but no goals ensued.
As the opening quarter progressed, the Comets stepped up their pressure on the Tropics defense. It paid off as Ramone Palmer was able to jump in front of a Florida defensive clearance attempt and deflect the ball into the net.
The Comets doubled their score a minute later when Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Flores pushed a pass into the middle of the box and it deflected off a Florida defender into the goal.
With less than a minute left in the first quarter, John Sosa banged a long-range shot from outside the yellow line into the net to put Kansas City up by three.
Despite multiple shot attempts before the end of the quarter, Florida could not score before the buzzer. The Tropics had their best chance just before Sosa’s goal as Antonio Manfut had a clear opening on goal, but a quick reaction by Mark Saxby followed by Sosa’s block off the line kept them off the board.
Florida started the second quarter on the hunt, keeping the ball in the Comets’ defensive third. Nothing came from the pressure and the game settled. In a sudden turn of events, the Comets found themselves on a four versus two-man breakaway, ending with Bryan Perez’s fighting through a crowd to tap the ball into the goal.
Both teams put on impressive passing displays as the quarter stretched on. Although Kansas City’s defense had some key blocks and takeaways, Saxby was always ready when the Tropics managed to get around the defense. His terrific saves kept the team’s shutout through the first half.
Caio Ruiz was the Tropic’s savior as he started the scoring for the opposition five minutes into the second half. A restart late in the third quarter gave Florida the chance to get within two. Guilherme Dos Santos, who has been out since January 26 with injury, gained the goal around Kansas City’s wall and past Saxby.
Florida kept up the relentless search for goals through the fourth quarter. Again, Saxby’s saves and blocks from the Comets’ defense kept the score at 4-2 in Kansas City’s favor.
With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Tropics brought out their sixth attacker to try and get back into the game. Following a blue card on Florida’s sixth attacker, Victor Parreiras, Gibson was presented with a shootout opportunity. Rather than taking the shot himself, Gibson dribbled forward two steps then passed to a rushing Anthony Grant. However, the Florida defense was able to get in front of Grant and kept the Comets in check.
The Comets failed to convert on the resulting power play, only the second time all season Kansas City has been shut out on the power play in a game.
With Florida’s sixth attacker on the field, the Comets were able to ice the game with two empty-net goals. First Ramone Palmer sent a long-distance chip from his own side of the field, then Grant was able to beat the defense and tuck away a score.
The Comets are off next week and will close out the regular season against the Milwaukee Wave on Sunday, April 14 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The 1:05 PM CT match will be available on MASLtv and KCMI 38 the Spot.
MASL Match Report
Match: Florida Tropics vs Kansas City Comets
Date: March 30, 2019
Venue: RP Funding Center, Lakeland, FL
Kickoff: 7:06 p.m. ET
Kansas City Comets