The Comets looked good for long periods last night against the Wave, but couldn't hold the lead when they needed to and fell to the Milwaukee Wave 17-16. The Wave were the more adventurous team early in the quarter and found themselves deservedly up 2-0 as Marcio Leite fired a ball to the back post that Hewerton chested into the net as he was unmarked. Shortly after the goal, the Comets got their chance to get back level as the Wave's Evan McNeley picked up a yellow card for a poor tackle. Less than a minute into the penalty, Missouri was level. Lucas Rodriguez had the ball at the top of the box, played it out wide to Byron Alvarez who then played the ball off the wall into the center of the box. Leo Gibson was in the middle of the box and fired home to even the score at 2-2. After the goal, both sides had some good possession, but it was Missouri that had the better chances, Alvarez hit the post and Mirsad Dzilic had a shot well saved, both set up by Vahid Assadpour. The Comets grabbed their first lead of the game off of a restart after a yellow line violation on the Wave. Assadpour fed the restart into the corner for Alvarez who fired a first time shot that sailed into the far corner giving Missouri a 4-2 lead. The Wave controlled the rest of the quarter and had a few good chances to find an equalizer, but some good saves and poor misses kept the Comets in the lead through the first.
In the second quarter, the Comets pushed from the start to try and extend their lead Alvarez and Jamar Beasley both had chances but couldn't finish. The Wave started to come into the game and possess more, but that's when Missouri was able to catch them on the counter. Gibson started a counter by picking out Alvarez running towards the left corner, Alvarez collected and then cut into the middle dribbling at his defender, Beasley was making a cutting run into the offensive third, Alvarez fed the ball to Beasley who 5-holed the keeper giving Missouri the 6-2 lead. The Wave continued to be the dominate side, more so after the Beasley goal. The Wave pulled within a goal off of a corner kick. Kyt Selaidopoulos fed Troy Dusosky who fired home making it 6-4. Milwaukee continued to push after the goal, but Danny Waltman made some big saves to keep the lead for Missouri. The Comets picked up some possession and found themselves another goal. After some sustained possession in the right corner, Beasley played the ball into the middle where it looked like the keeper would collect, but Assadpour was quicker to react and poked the ball into the net just ahead of the keeper giving Missouri an 8-4 lead.
The Wave continued to push after the goal and a great save on the line by Gibson kept the game at 8-4. Milwaukee had shots on both sides of the box that pulled Waltman out of possession so when the ball was played into the middle the Wave attacker had most of the goal to shoot at, but he shot right down the middle where Gibson was and he blocked it right on the line. It wasn't long though before the Wave were back within a goal. Dusosky took a shot from 3 point range that hit Marco Terminesi on it's way in and into the net. Waltman had no chance on the play as the deflection did enough to turn it in and make it 8-6. Less than a minute later the Wave were back in front. Giuliano Oliviero collected the ball to the right of Waltman and fired a 3 point shot into the far corner giving the Wave a 9-8 lead.
Missouri came out quickly in the third and regained the lead less than a minute in. After an early save by Waltman, a long ball was played over the top to Geison Moura. Moura went up with the Wave keeper for the ball, he didn't get it, but the ball fell to Rodriguez, who took a touch and fired home to put Missouri back in front 10-9. After the Comets controlling for a bit it became the Wave commanding the game again, but that played right into the Comets hands the way they were playing and soon enough the Comets were up 12-9 on the counter. Beasley started the break racing ahead and then feeding the ball to Jamie Harding. Harding fired a shot/pass to the back post where Moura turned the ball into the net to give the Comets a 3 point lead. Less than a minute later, the Comets found themselves with a 5 point lead, again off the counter. Off a free kick, Assadpour blocked the shot and started the corner, he fed Rodriguez as he raced down the wing. Rodriguez then fed the ball into the middle where Alvarez fired home to give the Comets a 14-9 lead.
After the goal the Wave continued to pressure and control possession, while Missouri tried to counter again for another goal. Unfortunately late in the 3rd as the roles were reversed, the Wave made it 14-11. Tom Oatley raced ahead and had 3 chances to put the ball away, firing wide and then high before finally putting the ball home as the Comets defense finally closed.
In the fourth quarter the Comets continued to try and absorb the pressure from the Wave and hold their 3 point lead. Unfortunately that didn't last very long as the Wave capitalized on a poor give away by Brian Harris after sustained Wave possession. Selaidopoulos finished the chance and the Wave were back within 1 at 14-13. Shortly after the goal there was a scary incident for Stefan Stokic, he made a great tackle on a Wave attempt, but after the play, Stokic stayed down. He was down for a few minutes before finally being helped off the field. He couldn't put any pressure on his right knee. He didn't return to the game and was still unable to walk after the game during the auction. It was at the far end of the field so I don't want to speculate too much, but I'd say he's going to be spending some time on IR, and it wouldn't surprise me if his season is done.
Off the restart after the play though, the Comets regained a 3 point lead. Beasley made the entire play, countering off the restart he raced the length of the field before laying the ball off to Moura who fired the ball into the net to make it 16-13. The Comets, though, fell asleep right after the goal and the Wave only 11 seconds later found the net and were back within 1 point as Hewerton finished a chance to make it 16-13. The Comets tried to sit back and just take the pressure, but as is often in soccer, especially indoor, it doesn't work and the Wave again found the net with just over 5 minutes left, Terminesi finished it as the ball was played across the field to Oliviero who centered to Terminesi. The Comets had some more of the possession after that as the Wave sat back a bit and tried to counter. A few big saves by Waltman kept Missouri close but they had no real dangerous chances with their possession. Then as time was running down the Comets were unable to get the ball to get a 6th attacker out on the field. Once they finally did they had a few chances, but after the ball went out of bounds, the Wave were able to hold it and kill most of the rest of the clock and a late effort to play the ball long lead to nothing and the Comets fell 17-16.
At half time was a nostalgic moment for many fans of the old Comets/Attack as there was an alumni game with plenty of former players on the field. Growing up before MLS, the Comes and the Attack players were the soccer players that I personally grew up watching and looking up to. It was great to see guys like Warren Westcoat, Gino Schiraldi, and others back on the field, and "Scorin" Goran Hunjak showed that he still has some good moves on the ball.