Soul Hold off Wings, Grab 15-12 Victory
Wichita, KS -- Thanks to a solid first-half effort, the Chicago Soul (8-11) were able to hold off the Wichita Wings (6-12) for a 15-12 victory Saturday night at Hartman Arena. The Wings assembled a late rally to catch up to the Soul, who led 15-6 at the half, but Chicago managed to halt Wichita's comeback to secure the win and the fourth place spot in MISL standings. Bato Radoncic led the way with a hat trick, landing him six points on the night.
"I just had a good feeling going into the game tonight," said Radoncic. "Right now, all of our pieces are coming together, offensively and defensively. We've been training hard, and it's showing on the field. We're getting better at our restarts and power play opportunities, and we're finding ways to win games."
The Wings got the scoring going when Freddy Moojen found the net 7 minutes into the first quarter. The Soul quickly retaliated on a goal by Pablo on the other end 40 seconds later. Moojen managed to put his side back in the lead 4-2, but Chicago's Carlos Muñoz found an equalizer, and both teams were tied at four apiece by the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw a dominant Soul squad as Radoncic opened the period up with a goal. Wichita's Daniel Villegas responded with a goal, tying things up again at 6-6 before Chicago took over. First, Muñoz capitalized on a restart opportunity, finishing on a pass from Carlos Farias. Minutes later, Farias managed to stump Wichita goalkeeper Senaldo as he fired from the 3-point range, extending the Soul's lead to 11-6. Radoncic built on the momentum, following up with a pair of goals to complete his hat trick and put Chicago up 15-6 by halftime.
The second half belonged to the Wings, who made a valiant effort to rally and catch up to the Soul. Wichita's Kevin Ten Eyck scored the lone goal of the third quarter when he converted on a restart to cut Chicago's lead to 15-8. Moojen opened up the fourth quarter with a goal, completing his hat trick and trimming the Soul's lead to 15-10. Ten Eyck then pulled Wichita within three, finding the back of the net with a little less than 5 minutes remaining. The Wings made a few more shot attempts as they tried to complete their comeback, but the Soul held them off to collect the 15-12 victory and further solidify their playoff position.
"It's a huge win for us," said Soul Head Coach Novi Marojevic. "We dominated most of the game. I think this was probably the best game in terms of ball possession. We were phenomenal on our restarts, we created a lot of chances, and we finished.
"Third quarter, we gave up a little bit defensively and didn't score. We still have to work on that, but overall, I give the guys a lot of credit. They played well."
"We still seem to be struggling to the keep the ball in the second half," added Radoncic. "But I think we're getting better. Now, we just have to rest up as much as we can and finally try to beat Milwaukee tomorrow. We've come close a few times. It's just a matter of becoming stronger mentally to finish out games against them."
The Soul are headed to Milwaukee next for a matinee match against the Wave, who came out on top in all four meetings with Chicago so far this season. The two squads will face off for the fifth time on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. CT at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Soul will return home on Thursday, January 31 when they host the Wings once again. For ticket information, visit www.chicagosoulfc.com or call (224) 699-4110.
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Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from January 26, 2013
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