Comets Battle in Game One, But Unable to Overcome the Wave
KANSAS CITY - Comets fans witnessed a beautiful display of indoor soccer but with a dismal ending on Thursday night. The Kansas City Comets fell to the Milwaukee Wave 2-5 in the first leg of the playoff series in Kansas City.
The Comets started the game with high pressure, with Kevin Ellis getting a block off goalkeeper Josh Lemos in front of the Wave's goal. Milwaukee was not stunned for long as they put the pressure right back on the Kansas City's back line. Both teams displayed strong defensive efforts in the first minutes of the game.
The long-standing rivalry was evident as fans and players alike could taste the intensity in the air. The game had a strong physical aspect, the usual when teams play each other as often as Kansas City and Milwaukee do. The players from both sides flaunted intricate passing patterns and impressive shots on goal.
The Wave had Comets' goalkeeper Mark Saxby diving left and right, always on his toes. The Comets registered multiple but Lemos kept up the front.
Felipe Silva almost caught Kansas City off guard when he clocked a long range shot while Saxby was high out of the goal box. Saxby sped back and snatched the ball off the wall before bouncing off it himself.
Trouble started to brew minutes later when Max Ferdinand speed past multiple Comets defenders and beat Saxby. John Sosa slid to save the ball off the line, but the ball hit his hand in the process. By denying this goal scoring opportunity, the Wave were awarded a shootout. Ian Bennett easily put the ball past Saxby to start the scoring for the night.
The Comets were resilient and kept up their pressure through the first quarter and into the second. The game's physical aspect continued to rise as fouls ensued all over the field. The excitement continued at a high as well, fueling the players and coaches.
The Milwaukee Wave struck again as Andre Hayne found the back of the net. The Comets tried to bounce back as an impressive give-and-go between Nacho Flores and Bryan Perez narrowly missed the post. However, Ramone Palmer's extra effort led to Kiel Williams giving Kansas City their first goal of the night.
Saxby kept the Comets within one, making an incredible save shortly before the buzzer sounded. Kansas City outshot Milwaukee 12 to 4 in the second quarter, propelling their offensive efforts into the second half.
Emotions settled for the start of the second half. Saxby recorded two fantastic diving saves and a gaggle of Comets players had their chance at goal. Ellis and Leo Gibson both had headers that ricocheted off the glass above the goal.
Despite Kansas City's continuous roll towards goal, Milwaukee was able to score another. Chad Vandegriffe found his seventh goal of the season off Daniel Chamale's pass.
The Comets kept up the fighting spirit and pushed on to find the second goal. The Wave's critical blocks and Lemos' quick hands kept the score in Milwaukee's favor.
With the final quarter beginning, Kansas City needed to score some goals to stay in the game. Milwaukee's shutdown defense made that hard to do, though the Comets sent in shot after shot. An unlucky give away by Kansas City led to Milwaukee's fourth goal, this time by Andre Hayne.
Vandegriffe secured the brace and put the Wave up by four halfway through the fourth quarter. Kansas City got a step closer when they went on the power play. They used their league best power play conversion to get within three. Leo Gibson moved his point streak to 10 games, scoring 15 goals and 9 assists.
Despite Kansas City's best efforts, they were unable to put in another goal in before the final buzzer sounded.
Now the Comets travel to Milwaukee to start the second leg of the playoff series. Kansas City looks to even the series and force the third mini game in order to continue their playoff run. The showdown starts at 2:05PM CT on Saturday, April 20. Follow the action on Twitter, Facebook, and Eleven Sports.
MASL Match Report
Match: Kansas City Comets vs Milwaukee Wave
Date: April 18, 2019
Venue: Silverstein Eye Centers
Kickoff: 7:35 p.m. CT / 8:35 p.m. ET
Goals 1 2 3 4 F
Milwaukee Wave 1 1 1 2 5
Kansas City Comets 0 1 0 1 2
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