Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Comets Clinch 3rd in OT

With playoff seeding on the line, the Comets traveled to Chicago to finish their regular season against the Soul.  The Comets needed a single win to ensure themselves of the third seed in the 2013 MISL Playoffs.  It took more than four quarters, but Byron Alvarez scored three minutes into the overtime period to give the Comets the 8-6 win against the Chicago Soul.

After waiting until the final six seconds to net a goal in their previous matchup, the Comets jumped on the scoreboard first tonight.  Ryan Junge found Jeff Hughes along the left side, who buried his shot from close range.  Matthew Stewart was able to tie it up for Chicago with a nice shot of his own from the side only a minute later.

Tied 2-2 at the start of the second quarter, Coach Kim Roentved employed a high pressure strategy that saw two, and sometimes three, Comets players with immediate pressure on any Soul player who gained possession in his defensive third of the field.  Ryan Junge earned his second helper of the game, feeding Vahid Assadpour for the only score of the quarter.  Comets led at the break 4-2.

Relaxing a bit from their high pressure stance, the Comets still had several opportunities in the third quarter.  The Comets controlled the ball through much of the game, outshooting the soul 38-16 in the game.  Matt Stewart and Freddy Degand were able to break through the Missouri attack late in quarter, scoring two goals in thirty seconds to put Chicago in the lead briefly 6-4.  However, Assadpour answered right back two minutes later, intercepting a defensive clearance from Soul goalkeeper Jeff Richey and passing to Robert Palmer.  Palmer returned the pass and Assadpour scored his second of the game, tying it up.

The fourth quarter saw no scores as both teams applied tentative pressure, not wanting to make a mistake as the clock wound down.  With the score tied 6-6, the fans who braved the weather in Chicago were treated to overtime soccer.  The Comets once again broke out their high-pressure attack and controlled much of the action.  After Chicago’s Carlos Munoz was whistled for a foul to the right of his goal, Comets midfielder John Sosa found Byron Alvarez on the restart for the goal and 8-6 victory.

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