by Pat Clifton

The Kansas City Comets overcame a slow start to beat the Orlando Seawolves Thursday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The visitors took the lead in the first 90 seconds and led by as many three goals, but a scoreless second half by the Seawolves and a late offensive onslaught by the Comets delivered a home victory.

The win ends a three-game skid for Kansas City, improving its record to 9-10. The loss starves the Seawolves of their second win of the season. They got on the board early with a fluky goal. Goalkeeper Lou Misner’s vision was obstructed, allowing for a dribbling shot to sneak between his legs from beyond the yellow line.

Hector Solorio dispossessed a Seawolf in the attacking end, and Gui Gomes took the ball off his foot, drawing the attention of goalkeeper Fernando Cortes. As soon as Cortes committed, Gomes, slid an assist to a wide-open Kiel Williams on the back post.

Seconds later, Orlando regained the lead when Hector Solorio mishandled the ball in the back end, leaving the Seawolves with a numbers advantage. Williams again erased the lead by sweeping the ball into an open net. This time, Leo Gibson did the assisting.

The stalemate didn’t last long, as Kevin Naranjo chipped in back-to-back goals, the second during a Kansas City power play. Victor Rada was shown blue for boarding Gibson. Not only did the Seawolves score while down, they handed the Comets their fourth-straight scoreless power play, taking a 4-2 lead into the second quarter.

Orlando extended its lead a minute into the second quarter, when Misner was caught facing a two-on-one. He managed to block the first attempt, but the second one found the net, making it 5-2.

Kiel Williams then did what he’d done all game – keep the Comets in it. His first two goals were relatively easy, but he made up for the degree of difficulty on the third one, launching a rocket upper-90, near post, from long range.

The Comets cut the deficit to one in short order when Solorio played the ball off the wall for Gomes, who powered a shot off the leg of an Orlando defender and across the whitewash. 20 minutes gone, Kansas City trailed 5-4.

Orlando added to its tally thanks to Kansas City indiscipline when Jeff Michaud teed off from the top of the arc on a set piece, freezing Misner to make it 6-4 going into the final period.

The Comets scored three-consecutive goals in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game, 7-6. Twice Gibson assisted Lucas Rodriguez, the first goal tucking inside the bottom left corner of the goal from deep, and the second from the middle of the box after Gibson attracted the keeper’s attention. They sandwiched rookie Nick McDonald’s first career goal, assisted by Williams, from a two-on-one.

Cushion was added with five minutes remaining when Kansas City was given a restart at the top of the box. Rodriguez feigned a shot, but played the ball behind himself to John Sosa, who unleashed a blast into the back of the net to make it 8-6. 

The Comets are off to New York for a pair of road games Saturday and Sunday at Rochester and Utica, respectively.