Comets fall to Tropics 5-3

by Nathan Dunn

It was a tough battle for all four quarters, but the Kansas City Comets succumbed to the Florida Tropics by a final score of 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at RP Funder Center in Lakeland, Florida.

After overcoming a two-goal deficit in the third quarter, the Comets were unable to come back in the fourth after conceding the game-winner with nearly 12 minutes remaining. The Comets' away struggles continue as they are now 1-7 away from Cable Dahmer Arena.

The Comets started the scoring about six minutes into the first quarter when Comets pressure resulted in a turnover with Milos Vucic finding a central Lucas Sousa to fire it in from the top of the box.

The Tropics tied it up when Drew Ruggles found Ricardo De Queiroz Diegues sprinting down the left wing. Diegues combined on a give-and-go with Ruggles before sprinting away and supplying a composed finish.

Florida took the 2-1 advantage when Anthony Arico curled a shot perfectly into the top corner. Arico took a touch to pick his spot before placing it with no mistake.

The Comets outshot the Tropics 14-5 in the second quarter but were unable to score as the Tropics had the 2-1 lead at halftime.

The Tropics went up 3-1 when Kiel Williams was in the perfect spot to tap in a dangerous service from Vini Dantas 4:09 into the third period.

The Comets responded just 10 seconds later when Ramone Palmer squeezed one past the Florida keeper on a pass from Zach Reget to make it 3-2. Florida goalkeeper Jorge Navarrete got his glove to Palmer’s effort but was unable to keep it out.

The Comets found the equalizer late in the third period when John Sosa worked his restart magic. Sosa found Ray Lee just to the right of the goal, who directed his header in to tie it at 3-3.

Florida went back in front 4-3 when Drew Ruggles was able to sneak a free kick from the top of the box past Neto 3:10 into the fourth quarter.

Florida secured the win after they went up 5-3 when Thiago Freitas fired the Topics in front by two with 2:35 remaining.

The Comets fell to 7-5-4, passing up the opportunity to take the second-place spot in the Eastern Conference. Kansas City scored just three goals from 38 shots for just the third time this season.

The Comets return home for another conference matchup with the Milwaukee Wave on Sunday, February 26. Tickets for that matchup are available at


1st – KC Sousa (Vucic) 5:50; FLA Diegues (Ruggles) 13:22. Penalties — None.

2nd – FLA Arico (Carvalho) 10:56. Penalties — FLA Oliveira (bc- holding) 2:36.

3rd – FLA Williams (Dantas) 4:09; KC Palmer (Reget) 4:19; KC Lee (Sosa) 13:15. Penalties — FLA Freitas (bc- contact above the shoulder/elbow) 6:23.

4th – FLA Ruggles 3:10. Penalties — none.

Power Play – Comets 0/2, Florida 0/0

Penalty Minutes – Comets 0, Florida 4

Fouls — Comets 26, Florida 21

Shots – Comets 38, Florida 24

Attendance – 975