It was a reunion of sorts at the Independence Events Center Saturday night with the return of Kim Roentved, and the swapping of former Wichita players Bryan Pérez and Max Touloutte with former Missouri players Chaz O’Dell and John Markey. A rejuvenated Wichita B-52s team looked to end the 7-game win streak of the Missouri Comets.
The first quarter of the game looked promising as Wichita and Missouri seemed evenly matched. Wichita continued to use the pressure game to affect both time of possession and advancement of the ball on the part of Missouri. Wichita seemed poised to take advantage of several opportunities, however they could not capitalize.
The second quarter was reminiscent of the first until 10:24 remaining when the Comets scored off a high kick that deflected a clearance from Alex Moseley into the goal. Wichita followed up with a couple of penalties that sent Hobson into the box to serve a blue card penalty. The Comets were able to capitalize from the powerplay, scoring with 7:11 remaining in the second. Up until this point, Wichita and Missouri were even with five shots each on goal. Going into halftime only down two goals to nil, things continued to look promising.
The third quarter was definitely the game breaker in this contest. Wichita stopped using high pressure to contain and frustrate the Comets which opened a floodgate of goals for Missouri. Missouri struck at 14 :07 as Assadpour capitalized from a missed clearance. Missouri continued the assault as Max Touloutte scored at 9:01 and Assadpour again at 6:57 for his 11th goal of the season. At 5:45, Johnny Markey hit a left-footer off a wide Brent Hobson shot nearly taking Danny Waltman’s head off. Leo Gibson quickly retaliated at the 5:17 mark with his 18th goal of the season. In the last 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter, Missouri scored at the 02:03 mark with a low, deep, and strongly hit ball shot just out of Pardo’s reach. An own goal at 1:27 was the last score of the quarter thanks to the efforts of Boris Pardo, who had an amazing save with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
With the score 8-1, Wichita needed an explosive 4th quarter to set the match straight. At 13:35, former Wichita Wing Bryan Perez scored after being left wide open on the back post during a power play. Brady Bryant retaliated one minute later at 12:17 with an assist from Boris Pardo as Wichita brought back the high-pressure game. Wichita held Missouri for 3 more minutes until a blue card issued to Travis Pittman on Harris yielded a Sosa goal for Missouri at 9:11, making the score 10-2. After Sosa’s goal, Wichita put in Alex Moseley as a sixth attacker. At 4:40, Matt Clare scored a goal off his left foot to make the score 10-3. At 2:41 Sosa received a blue card that, with the sixth attacker, made it a 6 on 4 advantage for Wichita. Wichita could not capitalize however, as Missouri scored at 2:21 and with 26 seconds left in the game to win it 12-3.
It should be noted that both goalkeepers had tremendous games making several outstanding saves. The lopsided score was not indicative of play by either team. Wichita simply could not capitalize like Missouri. Wichita will have plenty of time to improve as Missouri will be coming back to Wichita on Sunday February 8 at 3:05 p.m at Hartman Arena. With a little fine tuning, I believe this match will be quite a show. Stay tuned.