In a game that didn't feature a ton of defense, the Comets took an early lead, held it throughout the middle of the game, and pulled away at the end to win 30-17 against the Rochester Lancers at the Independence Events Center.
The Comets got off to a perfect start as the Ryan Junge won the ball in the Comets end, raced down the wing and fired a shot that went into the far corner to give the Comets a 3-0 lead after only 18 seconds. The Comets continued their quick start only a minute later as Mads Falck played a pass to the back post where an unmarked Leo Gibson turned it in to make it 5-0 and force the Lancers to take a timeout after only 1:10 of game play. The Lancers employee a different defense than I have seen from most MISL sides as they basically left 1 player up at the midfield or Comets yellow line most of the time, forcing the Comets to have someone sitting deeper or risk a break away. It didn't matter early on though as just over 3 minutes into the quarter Gibson won the ball and raced down the right wing before firing a shot into the far corner that beat Patrick Hannigan for another 3 pointer, making it 8-0 Comets. And just past the 6 minute mark the Comets made it 10-0. Bryan Harris picked out Gibson whose initial shot was saved by Hannigan but he couldn't hold it and Gibson poked it past him and into the net, completing his hattrick and the rout appeared to be on. The Lancers continued to try to push the game but couldn't create much in the way of dangerous chances and when they did Danny Waltman made the saves. He did need some help from his defense as Waltman got pulled out away from goal making a save and on the rebound, Junge had to save the ball off the line. Late on in the quarter the Lancers got on the board. Rey Martinez fired a shot from the corner that took a deflection off of a defender on the way through and ended up going through Waltman's legs and into the net. Just before the quarter finished, the Comets went on the power play. As Stefan Stokic tried to lead a break, Doug Miller made a sliding tackle, getting too much of Stokic for the referees liking and Miller got to end the first quarter in the box.
In the second quarter the Comets couldn't capitalize on the rest of the power play. Shortly after the power play expired, the Lancers got themselves within 6 points. Maruricio Salles fired a shot off the post. The ball bounced to Martinez who tapped the ball past Waltman to make it 10-4. The Comets pushed the game attempting to restore their lead as the open game continued. Just a minute after the Lancers goal the Comets worked the ball around the perimeter. Junge played the ball in to Lucas Rodriguez in the corner. Rodriguez turned firing a curling shot into the corner to restore the Comets 8 point lead. A minute later the Comets added another goal. Falck did a good job of winning the ball after losing it. He then played a ball across to the far side for Cristiano who beat Hannigan to make it 14-4. The open game in the quarter continued and Stephen Basso picked out Salles who fired a 3 pointer that beat Waltman to the near post making it 14-7. The quarter continued to be open and with just over 5 minutes left, the Comets made their lead 9. Vahid Assadpour and Gibson played a 1-2 with Assadpour receiving the ball in the middle of the box. He beat Hannigan to make it 16-7. The Lancers employed high pressure on the Comets in their own end and Waltman ended up giving the ball away to Luis Enrique who fed the ball to Miller to knocked the ball in off the post to make it 16-9. Shortly after the goal the Comets found themselves up only 5. Cristiano fouled Miller as he broke in on goal earning himself a blue card. The foul also earned a shootout attempt for the Lancers. Miller took the shootout and beat Waltman to make it 16-11. With under 3 minutes remaining Bryan Harris restored the Comets 8 point lead. Harris won the ball in the Comets end and raced towards goal. At the yellow line Harris fired a shot into the corner to make it 19-11. With time running out in the quarter the Lancers were able to cut the lead again. Evan McNeley played a ball across the face of goal where Pedro Franco tapped the ball home at the far post to make it 19-13 at the half time break.
The third quarter saw the Lancers jump out early and get themselves closer to the Comets. Basso picked out Sallas in the corner and he beat Waltman to get the Lancers within 4. The fourth quarter saw both teams play with 4 men for two minutes after Gibson and Jake Schindler got into a shoving match and got matching blue cards. The defense in the third quarter picked up as neither team was really able to get going.With under 5 minutes left, the Comets got another power play opportunity after Basso received a blue card. The Comets took advantage of the power play. Assadpour picked out Gibson who fired from outside the 3 point like to make it 22-15, restoring the 7 point lead.
Early in the fourth quarter the Lancers again closed the lead to 5 as McNeley finished a chance to make it 22-17 just 30 seconds into the fourth. That's as close as Lancers got though. Just over half way through the quarter the Comets restored their 7 point lead again on a magnificent goal. Assadpour played a long ball over the top towards Gibson. Gibson turned and biked the shot past Hannigan and into the net. An absolutely fantastic goal for his 5th of the game. Twenty seconds later the Comets made the lead 9. Gibson played a ball through for Cristiano who touched the ball past a rushing Hannigan and into the net making it 26-17. After the Cristiano goal the Lancers came back out with the 6th attacker. While the Lancers had the extra attacker the Comets were the one that had the better possession, causing all sorts of problems for the Lancers and they really never got the offense going with the extra attacker.. In fact it was the Comets that took advantage. Gibson won a ball away from the Lancers 6th attacker and scored his 6th goal of the net, equaling Miller's mark that he scored vs the Comets earlier this year. The Comets weren't done against the 6th attacker either creating a number of opportunities. Waltman even tried to score off a punt. His shot was deflected, but the deflection went to Gibson who raced down then played a nice little ball to Rodriguez who raced in on goal and after the goalkeeper committed, he dumped the ball to Coady Andrews who touched the ball home to make it 30-17. Gibson finished the night with 6 goals and 2 assists wrapping up player of the week honors.