From the Comets
The Missouri Comets start off the 2014 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Championship Series with a thrilling 15-8 win over the Baltimore Blast. Missouri’s Vahid Assadpour set a MISL playoff record with a hat trick consisting of only 3-point goals and led all scorers on the night. J. T. Noone had a hat trick of his own for the Blast, scoring two goals late in the game. A crowd of 4,524 were on hand to see the Comets take a 1-0 series lead.
Baltimore started the game off with two goals from Noone and Max Ferdinand worth two points each. The Blast would routinely take an early lead like this in the regular season and rely on their stout defense to bring home the win. Tonight, the Comets were not intimidated and kept up their attack.
Assadpour answered the Blast’s scores with his first three-point goal of the night. With seven minutes remaining in the first quarter John Sosa found a waiting Assadpour outside the yellow line and without hesitation, the captain buried a shot past Baltimore’s goalkeeper, Troy Hernandez.
The second quarter would not see a score change, but the players kept the fans on the edge of their seats as the intensity level rose on the field. As the teams headed off the field, Baltimore holding a slim 4-3 lead, several players were involved in a skirmish towards the player tunnel. After everything was sorted out, Missouri’s John Sosa and Baltimore’s Adriano Dos Santos were each shown a Red Card and ejected from the game.
Fired up coming out of the break, Assadpour netted his second three-point goal on a restart play. Not even a minute later, Stefan St. Louis collected a distribution from goalkeeper Danny Waltman and blasted home a shot from just outside the arc. The goal was St. Louis’ second and Waltman’s first assist of the playoff season.
With a 9-4 advantage, Comets head coach Vlatko Andonovski encouraged his team to keep up their offensive pressure. Assadpour finished his hat trick five minutes in to the final quarter, unassisted, with a shot that Hernandez never even saw. With this strike, Assadpour set an MISL Record for three-point scores in a playoff game that had held since the 2012 playoff season.
The Blast brought Mike Lookingland on as a sixth attacker with minutes left in the game, down 12-4. Lucas Rodriguez cleared a pass out of Missouri’s defensive zone where defender Brian Harris ran onto it. Smartly, he tapped the ball towards goal outside of the three-point arc and walked the ball into the net for the Comets fifth straight three-point score.
Noone scored two more times before the final whistle for the Blast, both worth two points, but it was too little and too late for Baltimore. The Comets were able to take a 1-0 series lead on the back of five three-point scores, and a 15-8 victory.
The series now moves to Baltimore on Sunday, March 16 at 4:05 p.m. CT. A win would claim the first MISL Championship in Comets history. Should the Blast win Game Two, an immediate 15 minute Mini-Game would be played to decide the winner of the series.
Fans are encouraged to join the Comets Nation Fan Club at Coach’s Bar & Grille on 103rd and Wornall on Sunday for the Official Watch Party. The game will be shown LIVE on the Comets website at CometsIndoorSoccer.com/Live-Feed.