Wave regain first place in standings, defeat Cougars 17-8
Stockton, CA - Mar. 2, 2008 - It's not often that a match is decided in the first five minutes of the first quarter, but that was indeed the story in Milwaukee. The first place Wave (15-7) defeated the Cougars (8-15) 17-8 at U.S. Cellular Arena. An estimated 3,500 saw the Wave pour 10 first quarter points before the six minute mark against the Cougars en route to the victory. Greg Howes led the Wave with six points, including three assists and a second quarter three point goal. The Wave took over the first place spot in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the win.
The match saw 10 penalties, including one red card, four blue cards to the Cougars and five to the Wave. Marcos Chantel was given a red card for hitting Howes. The incident happened after Howes punched Nelson Santana in the first quarter. Santana lay on the indoor turf while Howes punched him twice in the face. Howes was given a blue card for his actions.
Giuliano Oliviero scored the first goal of the game after breaking up a pass from Cougars defender Ryan Hall that was intended for staring goalkeeper Matt McDougall. Howes was given the assist on the opening score. The Wave continued to dominate the scoreboard by taking advantage of several California's mental mistakes. Marcelo Fontana was the next score, assisted by Howes, in the first quarter at the 2:57 mark. Just minutes later, Anthony Maher connected on a feed from Joe Di Buono that extended the Wave lead to 7-0 in the first. The Cougars hardly had an opportunity to regroup before Marcio Leite crushed a three point goal at the 5:52 mark, Fontana assisted the score. Milwaukee's 10-0 run put the Cougars in a deep hole that proved too much to come back from.
California did score in the first quarter after a goal by Enrique Tovar, the first of two in the game for "Qeeks." The goal came two minutes after Leite's three in the same period of play. The Wave used nine shots on goal in the first quarter; California used seven for their lone score.
The Cougars suited 14 players in the loss, but were without forwards Chris Handsor, Naldo and Bernie Lilavois. Both Handsor and Naldo are recovering from injuries, Lilavois received a red card at the end of Friday's contest against Detroit. He was suspended one game for tripping former Cougars midfielder Ricardinho in the 24-11 loss on Fox Soccer Channel.
California's offense was shorthanded throughout the game, but their defense was solid after the first six minutes of play. California kept the Wave to seven points for the final 54:00 of action. California's 36 shots on goal produced eight total points in the loss. Milwaukee peppered McDougall with 39 shots, which produced 17 points. McDougall saved 19 of 26 shots faced, he had seven saves in the second quarter.
The Cougars dominated the fourth quarter by shooting the ball 14 times compared to the Wave's four. Semir Mesanovic and Antonio Sutton both had goals in the final quarter. Sutton acted as player/coach for the game in lieu of Lilavois.
The Cougars were three of five in power play situations, and killed two of four in the match. California is now eight games out of first place with seven games remaining on their schedule, they are four games back of La Raza de Monterrey for final playoff spot.
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Major Indoor Soccer League 2 Stories from March 3, 2008
- Cougars Adjust Roster With Playoffs And Future In Mind - California Cougars
- Wave regain first place in standings, defeat Cougars 17-8 - California Cougars
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