Back to Back Home Games for Milwaukee Wave this Weekend
The Wave (12-6) are looking to come back from a rare pair of losses, one to the San Diego Sockers on Saturday February 29th in a shootout and a 7-3 loss on Sunday March 1st versus the Ontario Fury. Both games were on the road and brought the team's road record to 6-3, matching their home record.
Despite the losses, several pieces of good news came out of last weekend's slate of MASL games, the most important for the Wave being that they are still in third place in the Eastern Division and as a result of Utica City FC's winning streak being snapped over the weekend, the Wave are now only two games behind Utica in the race for the second playoff spot. Further bolstering the Wave's push for the playoffs comes in the form of the Kansas City Comets and St. Louis Ambush joining the Orlando SeaWolves and Rochester Lancers as being eliminated from the playoffs.
The Florida Tropics, however, did secure a spot in the playoffs leaving just three spots left in the Eastern Division. The Baltimore Blast currently round out the Eastern Division's playoff field in the fourth spot with a 14-8 record and two games left on their schedule, both against teams fighting for a spot in the playoffs including their season finale against the Wave. The Harrisburg Heat are still the hunt too as although Baltimore has a higher win percentage, the Heat are technically only half a game behind the Wave with a 12-7 record and a schedule that includes a game at Baltimore, two games against Utica City FC, they close the season against the Wave (the Heat's last four games are at home). In other words, the Wave still have plenty of work ahead of them, with their final three games of the season (Baltimore, Utica City, and Harrisburg) possibly determining of the seeding of every Eastern Division team not named the Tropics.
Orlando has had a truly forgettable season with a 1-16 record, with their sole victory coming against Baltimore back on December 29, 2019. Since then, the team has been on a 11 game losing streak and is currently posting a minus 98 goal differential, the second worst in the league ahead of only the winless Rochester Lancers. The SeaWolves have just a 36% effective power play, and have used 3 goalies this season, with only one of said goalies having a goals against average fewer than 10. The SeaWolves also have just three players (only two of whom are active) that have a double digit overall point total this season. The Wave bested the SeaWolves in their first, and heading into this weekend only game this season, winning 10-2 in Orlando on December 21st.
Wave Coach Giuliano Oliviero spoke openly about the losses the team suffered over the weekend, "it was two different nights. We spent a lot of energy against San Diego, I felt we deserved better and we were the better team, but soccer can be a cruel game." Coach continued by saying that "we just didn't have that same energy (in Ontario) and I can say that it's the worst the team has played all season. We have got a very important weekend at home, in fact all six games now are very important to us." Coach Oliviero isn't looking past any opponent at any time, but made clear that especially since they haven't clinched a playoff spot that they aren't taking anything for granted. The Wave will keep three goalies on roster for the rest of the season, however Coach Oliviero said that due to prior personal commitments made prior to signing with the Wave, Joey Kapinos will not be playing in either game against the SeaWolves.
Defensemen Chad Vandegriffe also spoke about the tough weekend, saying "I think it's just about putting a complete game together, a full 60 minutes, we need to work on fine-tuning everything, both offense and defense, because every game is important now." Focusing ahead, Vandegriffe pointed towards the team's defensive goals to limiting Orlando to 2-4 goals, "although obviously a shutout would be ideal. Going into the playoff push it's all about the team coming together and being in sync."
The Wave host the Orlando SeaWolves on March 7th and 8th (Saturday and Sunday) with first kicks taking place at 6:07 pm and 1:07 pm respectively. Join us on March 7 for our On Wisconsin night complete with a performance by the Echoes of Camp Randall and from members of the UW- Madison Marching Band. On March 8, it's our Girl Power game! Plus Sunday Funday! Celebrating all female soccer players and their outstanding accomplishments! Enjoy $3 beer, pretzels & popcorn!
For tickets and more information visit MilwaukeeWave.com.
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Major Arena Soccer League Stories from March 5, 2020
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- Ontario Fury Goalkeeper Chris Toth Voted Week 15 Sporturf Player of the Week - Ontario Fury
- Last 2 Home Games of the Season - Rochester Lancers
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