The Missouri Comets have been fighting to get themselves back to .500 for a while now. Each time they get close to the .500 mark they end up falling back down. Tonight the Missouri Comets again got themselves back to .500 with a 12-11 win over the Rochester Lancers at the Independence Events Center. the previous 3 meetings between these teams this season has seen the winning team get at least a hattrick. In Rochester's two wins it's been Doug Miller, and in Missouri's two wins, it's been Leo Gibson.
Unlike the last time the two teams met in Independence, the Comets didn't jump out to a big lead. About 5 minutes into the game the Lancers got a blue card for too many men on the field. On the power play Missouri took advantage. Off a restart, John Sosa played a free kick into the box, where Leo Gibson had come in and he tapped the ball into the net making it 2-0. The Comets doubled the lead late in the first quarter. Gibson played the set up man this time. Gibson played a nice ball through the box to Lucas Rodriguez on the back side. Rodriguez didn't get the first shot off, but kept with the ball, collected it in the corner, turned and fired a ball into the net to make it 4-0.
The second quarter saw both teams shore up their defense as neither side was able to find the net.
The third quarter saw the Lancers finally get on the board. Jeremy Ortiz found Elliot Fauske on the right side, Fauske turned and fired a shot into the far corner to cut the lead to 4-2. A few minutes after the Lancers got the goal, the Comets restored their 4 point lead. Byron Alvarez and Rodriguez started a 2v1 break. Alvarez got the Lancers goalkeeper to commit and laid the ball off to Rodriguez. Rodriguez though hit the post with his effort on the open net. Luckily the ball bounced off the post right to Alvarez, who tapped the ball in to make it 6-2. Only 12 seconds in game play later it was 8-2. New signing, Jeff Hughes got the ball at the top of the box and fired a shot that the goalkeeper got a piece of but it got past him and into the net making it 8-2. Fauske played a ball to Maruricio Sallas. Sallas fired a ball off the wall that had a ton of English on it and beat Danny Waltman to make it 8-5. Late in the quarter the Comets got the lead up to 5. Vahid Assadpour and Gibson almost collided as Assadpour dribbled across the yellow line. Gibson picked up the ball and continued dribbling towards the goal and fired a ball into the net. The Lancers pushed the game more and off a restart, Waltman came up huge. First off a restart Waltman parried a shot away, then before a Lancers' player could react to a rebound, Waltman punched the ball further away. With Waltman out of position, Cristiano made a save off the rebound shot, then on the rebound to Cristiano's block, Waltman recovered and made the save. With 19 seconds left in the quarter the Lancers cut the lead to 3 again as Andy Tiedt picked out Alan McGreal in the box. McGreal slotted his shot home to make it 10-7 after 3.
The fourth quarter the Comets sat back trying to keep possession while the Lancers were the ones attacking trying to get closer to the Comets. Almost 6 minutes into the quarter the Lancers cut the lead to 1. Tiedt played a nice through ball to Doug Miller who beat Waltman over his shoulder to make it 10-9. The Comets survived the pressure from the Lancers but with 6:20 left in the game Alvarez picked up his 4 foul of the half and had to go to the box with a blue card. The Lancers attacked relentlessly, but couldn't find a goal. Then as the penalty expired, the Lancers had a few more efforts, and Brian Harris cleared a ball of the line with his hand. Harris went to the box, and Miller buried the penalty kick to give the Lancers their first lead at 11-10. The lead didn't last long. The Comets came back down the field with Cristiano leading the attack, he fell to the ground, but recovered, got back to his feet and fired a shot. The shot bounced off the cross bar, on the line and back onto the cross bar and started bouncing out. But Gibson had run into the box and with Hannigan on the ground, headed the ball into the net to give the Comets the lead at 12-11. The Comets withstood the field 3 plus minutes of the game, with Waltman coming up big with a few saves as the Comets got their record to 10-10.