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Comeback falls short, Cougars lose to Ignition 16-13

November 18, 2007 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - California Cougars News Release

Stockton, CA - Nov. 17, 2007 - The California Cougars took the early lead but quickly gave it right back to the Detroit Ignition who hold on and beat the Cougars 16-13 at the Stockton Arena.

The Cougars led early after midfielder Brian Farber scored in his second consecutive game. Farber blew through the Detroit defense 20 seconds into the first quarter, giving the Cougars the 2-0 lead. But, the Ignition answered right back with three unanswered goals, first tying the game at the end of the first with a goal by Jamar Beasley, assisted by Kyt Selaidoupolous. It was the first of two goals on the night for Beasley and the first of two consecutive assists by Selaidoupolous. Detroit then took the two point lead after Ryan Mack found an open spot under Sanaldo. Mack finished with two goals as well in the game. His first gave the Ignition the lead in the second, 4-2. The final of the three straight scores was made by Droo Callahan who punched home a shot beyond his former teammates reach, extending the lead 6-2, Hewerton Moreira had the assist.

The Cougars still held tough and kept themselves in the game. Matt Caution was able to force a shot in after a lead pass sent to him by Farber midway in the second. Caution collided with Ignition goalkeeper Danny Waltman but the ball spun its way into the goal during the contact. The Cougars cut the lead to 6-4, but the Ignition kept running.

Detroit would tack on two more goals first by Mike Apple after an assist by Beasley during a power play 10:09 into the second. Mack then scored his second goal of the game less than 30 seconds later to extend the Ignition lead to 10-4. Mack's goal came 10:31 into the second, assisted by Matt Johnson.

The Cougars defense had few answers for the Ignition offense throughout the first half. Detroit led it 10-4 and seemed completely in control of the game when Vahid Assadpour scored just 1:57 into the third. The lead then climbed to 12-4 and the Cougars were in desperate need of a comeback. Their hopes were all but crushed when Mike Apple put in what proved to be the difference in the game as he hit a two pointer to make it a 14-4 lead, 6:46 through the third. California felt the momentum in the game vanish from their favor until Semir Mesanovic was able to stop the Ignition run and score just seven seconds after Apple found the net. At 6:53 into the third Mesanovic cut the lead down to 14-6 with his two-point goal assisted by Enrique Tovar.

As soon as the Cougars were able to fight their way back the Ignition followed with another score. This time it was Beasley who killed the rally as he scored with 15 seconds left in the third. Detroit led it 16-6 going into the fourth quarter.

The story of the night was the missed opportunities for the Cougars. The MISL's Defender of the Week from week 4, Antonio Sutton couldn't capitalize on a wide open tap in late in the game. But despite the earlier misses, the Cougars did capitalize on almost every opportunity they found during the fourth quarter. The Cougars started a late rally that brought the Stockton crowd to their feet. Sutton did not miss on his opportunity to score off a pass from Evan McNeley 3:29 into the fourth. His goal cut the lead in half to 16-8. Then the big blow came from Mesanovic who scored his second goal, but this time it was of the three point variety. Mesanovic was able to launch from almost 80 feet out between the legs of Waltman for a devastating three point goal. The Ignition led it 16-11 with 7:47 left in the game. McNeley, fresh off his assist earlier in the fourth, was able to pound home a restart goal off the put in by Chris Handsor. That thrilling goal put California within three at 16-13. But, the Cougars were left with few opportunities after McNeley hit his shot with just 2:32 left in the game. The Ignition defense would hold the rest of the way and kept the Cougars, and their 6th Attacker offense, away from the goal.

The Cougars used 27 shots on goal in the game to get their 13 points, but missed on several chances to make the game even closer, or perhaps take the win. Detroit was slightly more efficient with their scoring. The Ignition also recorded 27 shots in the game. Not only did the Cougars struggle to make the open looks count, they also put themselves in several difficult situations because of penalties. Detroit committed more fouls with 16 compared to the Cougars' 13, but committed fewer power play penalties. The Cougars were hit for four power play calls against. The Ignition capitalized three of four times, California was zero for two in the power play.

Sanaldo stopped 14 of 22 shots faced, his defense helped with five blocks. After Callahan scored his goal Sanaldo was called for a yellow card penalty. Nelson Santana filled in for Sanaldo and did not allow a goal during his outing on the field. New Ignition keeper, Danny Waltman, saved 10 of 16 shots faced, his defense made a staggering 11 stops on the night.

Up next the Cougars, 1-2, travel to Orlando to play the winless Sharks on November 21 at 4:35 PM PST. The game will be broadcast by Fox Soccer Channel to air Friday November 23 at 5:00PM PST. A delayed broadcast of the Cougars thrilling comeback loss will air Saturday November 24 on KTNC-42 in San Francisco. The broadcast will air in Spanish with injured Cougar Vicente Figueroa alongside Salvador Gonzalez in the broadcast booth. The broadcast starts at 2PM PST.

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