Article by Nicholas Murray
Two undefeated teams fall, another rolls on, and a strong road weekend from one of the league’s powers are the highlights of this weekend’s action in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
WAVE CONTINUES TO ROLL
Picking up two wins in two cities in less than 24 hours is a tough task, but the defending MISL champion Milwaukee Wave were able to pull off the feat with victories at home against the Norfolk SharX and on the road against the Missouri Comets on Saturday night and Sunday evening. The Wave’s depth was on show in both victories, with 10 players recording a point in a 21-7 victory against Norfolk, with Coach Keith Tozer able to keep his key players fresh with regular rotation.
That paid off on Sunday, when the Wave were able to rally from a one-point deficit entering the final quarter against the Comets to take an 11-6 victory. Again, the Wave’s depth was on display with five different goal-scorers finding the back of the net, Hewerton Moreira’s power play goal 1:14 into the fourth quarter before Marcio Leite’s 44 seconds later proving the crucial tallies.
The Wave are now the only undefeated team in the MISL, and certainly appear to be the early-season favorites for the title.
The Missouri Comets and Syracuse Silver Knights had been undefeated entering the weekend, but both suffered their first defeats over the weekend.
The Comets have certainly improved this season, carrying over their strong late-season form from 2010-11, and they put in a nice rally in the fourth quarter against the Blast to take the game to overtime as Geison and Byron Alvarez each found the net to tie the game 8-8. Unfortunately for Kim Roentved’s side they also ran into a hot goalkeeper, Sagu making 19 saves to keep his side in the game, which bought the Blast enough time for J.T. Noone to bag the game-winning goal 8:59 into overtime.
That defeat was followed by Milwaukee’s fourth-quarter rally, which saw the Comets hold a 6-5 lead as the fourth quarter began. But there are positives to be taken from the weekend for Missouri. Byron Alvarez appears to have found his form, scoring three goals over the weekend moving him into double-digit points this season, and the Comets now know how far they’ve closed the gap on last season’s finalists this early in the season.
By contrast with the Comets, the Silver Knights’ success had been the major surprise of the start of the season. On Saturday, though, they were overwhelmed early by the Rochester Lancers and couldn’t quite bridge the 13-point deficit, getting within four before falling 22-13. The third round of this quickly-developing rivalry takes place on Wednesday evening in Syracuse, and should provide another exciting contest.
BLAST BOUNCE BACK
After falling to the Syracuse Silver Knights in their home opener, there were certainly some questions about whether the Baltimore Blast had adequately restocked their line-up after some key departures in the offseason.
Those questions were allayed for the time being as the Blast took a pair of road victories against the Missouri Comets and Wichita Wings this weekend to move within a half-game of the Syracuse Silver Knights in the Eastern Division.
Neither win was overly pretty, with the Blast losing a four-point, fourth-quarter lead to the Comets before J.T. Noone’s goal won it in overtime, and as was previously mentioned Sagu was the star of the show on Friday with 19 saves. But the tightness the Blast showed in both weekend encounters, giving up eight points to the Comets and six to the Wings, showed that while the team finds its feet offensively, only Norfolk has fewer shots on goal than the Blast so far, they will be able to cope defensively and keep the team in games.
Baltimore heads to the New York state this weekend, facing the Lancers on Saturday afternoon and the Silver Knights on Sunday evening. With all three teams facing each other this week, we should soon find out whether this will be a three-horse race for the two playoff places in the Eastern Division.