February 8, 2013 - Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) - Chicago Soul FC
CHICAGO -- Friday night's battle at the Sears Centre Arena proved to be a down-to-the-wire thriller that ended badly for the Chicago Soul (9-13). Behind Mauricio Salles' hat trick, the Rochester Lancers (8-14) were able to overcome a six-point first-half deficit and steal the game in the final minutes. With the 19-15 loss, the Lancers swept the Soul in their four-game series.
"It's definitely frustrating to lose a game like this," said Soul Head Coach Novi Marojevic. "We had the game in our hands and we let them come back. We are a great team in the first half, but probably one of the weakest in the second half. Our ball possession was off, our defense was off, we made a lot of mental mistakes, and it got the best of us."
Rochester opened up the scoring when Gary Baughton found the net to give his side an early 2-0 lead. Chicago's Carlos Muï¿½oz responded on the other end with a 3-pointer off of a free kick to put the Soul on top 3-2. Aaron Nichols followed up with a 3-point blast of his own, extending the Soul's lead to 6-2 over the Lancers. Alexander Megson added to the advantage when he fired in a ball fed by Bato Radoncic. Both teams remained scoreless for the rest of the half, allowing Chicago to hang on to an 8-2 lead over Rochester by halftime.
The Lancers got the action going in the second half as Stephen Basso struck from the 3-point range, trimming the Soul's lead to 8-5. Salles quickly closed the gap, firing into the corner of the net to make it a one-point game. Rochester's Doug Miller gave his squad the lead when he converted on a power play advantage to give the Lancers a 9-8 advantage. Chicago retaliated before the quarter came to a close as Tijani Ayegbusi netted a 3-pointer, giving the Soul an 11-9 lead heading into the final period of play.
Salles found the equalizer for Rochester in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, forcing a tie game at 11-11. Jeremy Ortiz put the Lancers on top 13-11 after tapping the ball in at close range. Salles completed his hat trick minutes later and extended Rochester's lead to 15-11, but Megson came up with an answer as he scored his second goal of the night and cut the Lancers' advantage to 15-13. With the clock winding down, Chicago decided to pull Carlos "Chile" Farias in for sixth attacker and capitalized with the extra offensive boost when Matthew Stewart delivered the ball to the net via Eric Lukin to make it a tie game. However, the Soul's rally was short-lived as Miller struck again to restore the Lancers' lead. Seconds later, Boughton shot the ball into an empty net, allowing the Lancers to pull away for the 19-15 victory.
The Soul return to action on Monday, February 18 when they host the Milwaukee Wave at the Sears Centre Arena. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. For ticket information, visit www.chicagosoulfc.com or call (224) 699-4110.