The Missouri Comets blew leads of 8 and 6 points over the course of the game and ended up falling in over time to the Milwaukee Wave 23-21 in their season opener at the Independence Events Center.
The Comets got off to an early lead though. Just 17 seconds in off of a restart, John Sosa found Vahid Assadpour near the boards. Assadpour's shot sneaked between the post and Marcel Feenstra to give the Comes a quick 2-0 lead. A little over a minute and a half in the Comets doubled that lead. New signing, Alex Megson stole the ball at the top of the box and fired a shot into the opposite corner to make it 4-0. The Comets controlled much of the possession, but couldn't add to their lead. Then just over the half way mark the Wave cut the lead to 1. Pablo DaSilva won the ball near midfield. He played the ball towards Ian Bennett who won the ball and raced towards the Missouri goal. Right by the 3 point line, Bennett let fly with a shot. He fired into the upper corner, beating Danny Waltman to make it 4-3. Bennett's goal was called a 3 pointer, but replays showed that it very well may have been on the line and should have been ruled a two. The goal stood though. Late on in the first quarter the Comets were able to add to their lead. Off a poor Wave free kick, the ball came to Assadpour. The Comets captain raced the length of the field before squaring the ball off the wall into the middle for Leo Gibson who had the simplest of tap ins to make it 6-3. Then with under a minute left in the quarter the Comets scored again. As the Wave pressed, Gibson sprung the ball up the field for Milan Ivanovic. Ivanovic raced in on goal and five-holed Feenstra to make it 8-3 as the first quarter came to an end.
Early in the second quarter, the Wave cut the lead to three. Off a Wave restart, Marcio Leite laid the ball back to Luan Oliveira. Oliveira fired the ball through the wall and into the net to make it 8-5. The second quarter continued with the Wave pressuring looking for another goal, but Danny Waltman and Missouri's defense came up with some big saves and blocks. Late in the quarter though the Comets started to get more possession. Gibson hit the bar with a rocket of a shot. And off a restart, Geison's effort was saved off the line. With under 2 minutes left the Comets almost had another goal. Gibson got played in 1v1 with Feenstra after a long through from Waltman.Feenstra up ended Gibson and ended up given a blue card. Geison took the shootout attempt for Missouri, his initial attempt was saved by Feenstra and the rebound fell back to him but his chip went just wide.
The Comets came out in the third quarter and grabbed another goal just under three minutes in. Gibson stole the ball inside Missouri's half and raced in towards Milwaukee's end. He fired a shot from three point range that went into the far corner giving the Comets an 11-5 lead. The game started to get very physical and cards started to fly. Just before the halfway point, Carlos Munoz fouled Stefan Stokic in the corner, elbowing the Comets defender. Stokic though got up and ended up hitting Munoz in the face. Both players were given blue cards and the teams played 4v4. Shortly after that blue card was given the Comets were down to three on the field as Assadpour was given a blue card for boarding. With the 4v3 advantage the Wave took advantage as Leite fed the ball to Oliveira to cut the lead to 4. The two teams then played 4v4 until the Wave penalty ended. But right as it ended, the Comets added another goal. Lucas Rodriguez played the ball to Sosa in the corner. Sosa beat Feenstra with pace on his shot to make it 13-7. Less than a minute later the Comets made it 15-7. Brian won the ball outside the yellow line, dribbled into the Milwaukee end and fired a shot into the far corner. Late in the third though the Wave started their first come back. Just over 12 minutes into the quarter, Oliveira played the ball to the back post for Giuliano Oliviero whose diving header cut the lead to 15-9. Shortly after the goal the two teams were down to 4v4 again. And again it was Missouri's lack of composure that caused it. Wave midfielder, Judson McKinney was given a blue card for boarding, but in retaliation, Ramone Palmer was given a blue card for retaliation. With the extra space on the field, the Wave took advantage, scoring 2 goals in that span to make it 15-13. Both plays were extremely similar. The first play saw Leite start a 3v1 break. He fed the ball forward to Victor Quiroz, Quiroz laid the ball back to Leite who fired home. Shortly after it was Fabinho playing the ball back to Bennett for his second of the night and cutting the lead to two points.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Wave got themselves level. Comets defender, Andre Braithwaite got caught in possession in the Comets end by Marcelo Fontana. Fontana fed the ball into the middle for Nicolas Perera who tapped the ball into the net to make it 15-15. Just over two minutes into the quarter the Comets retook the lead. Off a restart at the top of the arc, Sosa fed the ball into the corner for Assadpour. The Comets captain turned the ball in and put the Comets back on top. Just seven seconds later the Comets had a four point lead. The Comets won the ball back off the kick off and Palmer fed the ball into the middle for Geison who scored to make it 19-15. Just four minutes into the quarter, the Wave have a 1v1 opportunity but Waltman comes up with a big save. Off the save the Comets countered. Gibson fed the ball to Sosa who rounded Feenstra and put the ball home to make it 21-15.
With just five minutes left and a six point deficient, the Wave went to their 6th attacker. Two minutes later the Wave cut the lead to four. Munoz got the ball in the corner and beat Waltman to the near post. Less than a minute later, the Wave had the game down to a single score. Leite crossed the ball into the middle and Bennett finished his hattrick poking the ball home. Just forty seconds later, the game was level. On the counter, Bennett fired the ball from the corner and beat Waltman to make it 21 all.
The two teams went into overtime. The overtime turned into a very tight game as neither team wanted to make a mistake. The best chance came to the Wave as they had a 2v1 opportunity. Waltman started to cheat far post and the shot was fired towards the near post, but hit the bar. Just over the half way point of the OT, the game ended. Off a restart to Waltman's left, Leite fired a shot off the boards that bounced right into the path of Bennett, who knocked the ball home to give the Wave their first lead of the game, but the only one that mattered as the Wave won 23-21.