It took overtime, but the Missouri Comets picked up their first home win of the season tonight as they beat the Chicago Riot 11-9 in overtime. Things started extremely bright for the Comets, as just 39 seconds into the game they found themselves up 2-0. Vahid Assadpour found Byron Alvarez unmarked at the back post and Alvarez slotted home to give MO a very early lead. Shortly after, the Comets doubled their lead on a nice attacking play. Matthew Iverson received the ball at the top of the box, played the ball to the left to Will John. Instead of shooting John slotted the ball to the back post where Jamar Beasley knocked the ball in to make it 4-0. After the two goals, the Riot started to control the game more, but couldn't find the net. Danny Waltman came up with some big saves early on to keep the 4-0 lead. Late in the first quarter they finally did through Eric Duda, who turned in a shot from Edward Santeliz. The Riot continued to be the stronger side for the rest of the first half and Waltman again had to make a big save to keep the score at 4-2.
Very early in the second quarter, only 38 seconds in, the Riot were level through Alex Megsonn, with Santeliz with another assist. The Riot held the run of play for much of the rest of the half, but neither team really produced chances. The Comets twice went on the power play in the quarter, ending the quarter on the second one, but were unable to find the net or any real good chances.
Early in the third quarter, Novi Marojevic hit a 3 pointer to give the Riot their first lead of the game. The Comets controlled play after the goal, and had another power play but were unable to capitalize on it. Shortly after the third power play, the Comets found themselves level as Brian Harris, falling down, hit a shot from behind the 3 point arc that some how got inside the near post on the Riot keeper and into the net tying the game at 7-7.
In the fourth quarter the Riot grabbed the lead again through Andre less than 3 minutes into the 4th quarter. The Comets got their first blue card of the game as Stefan Stokic was blue carded for kicking. The Comets were able to kill the penalty, and right as it expired, the Comets broke. Assadpour fed Beasley who was running with Stokic right as he left the box. Beasley used Stokic as a decoy, cut across the box then shot across his body, scoring to tie the game at 9-9. As the fourth quarter continued, the Comets had chances to grab another goal. Twice more in the quarter the Comets were up a man but were unable to get a winner making the Comets 0 for 5 on the night. The person you really have to feel sorry for is Lucas Rodriguez, who had 2 or 3 glorious opportunities to get a goal during the two power players but was denied by the post and the goalkeeper.
The game went into sudden death over time (I refuse to call is "sudden victory"). In overtime, the Comets ended up being the dominating team, but the goal came on a classic counter attack. A Riot player had been fouled in the Comets end. On the ensuing free kick, the Riot player scuffed his free kick right to Jamie Harding. Harding raced up the field and then played the ball along the wall to Beasley who'd raced ahead. Beasley headed towards goal and fired a shot that hit off the back post and into the net giving the Comets the win and now have their first "winning streak".
Overall a strong performance from the Comets. Waltman came up with saves when he had to, but didn't face that many truly dangerous shots during the course of the game and Beasley got his first hattrick of the season to help lead the Comets to their first home win of the season. They still have struggles on the offensive side of the ball, they lack creativity and an ability to break down defenses. The move of Leo Gibson to defense seems to have helped in part to stop the major defensive problems.