Wichita, KS. - The Wichita Wings (7-15) of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) take on the Syracuse Silver Knights (7-15) tonight in The Oncenter; Kick-off scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CST). Wichita won all three of the previous meetings against Syracuse and with tonight’s match being the final meeting of the regular season between the two clubs, the Wings will look to complete a season sweep of the Silver Knights. After facing off with Syracuse, Wichita will travel to Missouri (11-12) on Sunday, February 24 to play their rival club, the Missouri Comets. Kick-off in the Independence Events Center is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Prior to Sunday’s game, Missouri will host the Chicago Soul (9-14) at 7:35 p.m. (CST) tonight in the Independence Events Center.
In Wichita’s most recent game against Rochester last Monday, the Wings faced another close battle. The Wings took a quick lead with Kevin Ten Eyck drilling a huge three-point goal. The Lancers answered back with three consecutive goals from, Evan McNeley Brayton Knapp and Alan McGreal, to take a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Great combination play by the Wings attackers provided Wichita with two more goals, scored by Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Ferrer, to pull the score even at 7 apiece going into halftime. With a defensive battle brewing in the second half, Rochester would convert two unanswered goals, one in each quarter, allowing the Lancers an 11-7 lead late in the fourth quarter. The Wings came back with an excellent strike from three-point range by Michael Mesle to pull within one point of the Lancers, 11-10. Although Wichita was able to convert on a late goal, they would be unable to produce the additional goal needed to secure a win as goalkeeper Gavin McInerny came up big in goal for the Lancers, saving each shot attempt to preserve the 11-10 Rochester victory over Wichita.
Syracuse is set to host Wichita after completing a season sweep of their New York state rivals, the Rochester Lancers, with a thrilling 17-15 overtime victory. The first three quarters of the game featured a back-and-forth affair with four lead changes and Rochester leading Syracuse 13-11 at the end of the third quarter. The game reached a crescendo late in the final period with Andriy Budnyy burying home a two-point goal to even the score at 13-13. With 38 seconds left in the game, Evan McNeley found the back of the net with what would appear to clinch the win for the Lancers. In a stunning turn of events, however, Budnyy would respond with another equalizer for the Silver Knights with a goal off a restart with 12 seconds left, sending the game into overtime. In the extra period, Kenardo Forbes would finish the game-winner for Syracuse to propel the Silver Knights to a victory over the Lancers.
The intense rivalry between the Wings and Comets continues as Sunday’s tilt between the two clubs promises to be as fierce as the previous five matches. Missouri currently holds a 3-2 advantage in the season series between the two squads as Wichita looks to finish the season with a series draw. The Comets host the Chicago Soul tonight after defeating the Milwaukee Wave 17-9 this past Sunday, ending a modern-era MISL record 16-game winning streak for the Wave. Two early goals by Milwaukee’s Ian Bennett provided the Wave a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Comets turned the tides in the second quarter to nod the game back up at 4 apiece with Leo Gibson scoring two goals of his own, both set up by Vahid Assadpour. The third quarter featured a back and forth scoring affair starting with Byron Alvarez converting to give the Comets a 6-4 lead only 31 seconds into the quarter. Playing in his first game for the Wave, Bryan Perez evened the score just two minutes later, but the Comets took the lead for good when Mads Falck buried a shot from the left side into the right corner of the net to give the Comets an 8-6 lead at the end of three quarters. With their 16-game winning streak on the line, Milwaukee turned up the pressure in the final quarter, but in the end it was not enough as they would be outscored by Missouri 9-3 in the period completing the 17-9 victory for the Comets over the Wave.
Key match-ups – Wings Attack vs. Silver Knights and Comets Defense
The defense has remained solid for Wichita late in the season, stifling their opponents throughout their matches. While the defense has remained a mainstay for the Wings, finishing goal scoring opportunities has not been as consistent. Creating chances in front of goal has not been a problem for the Wings attackers, however, as they continue to find themselves in great position offensively. Wichita has claimed all three matches thus far in the series against Syracuse, and improving their poise in the offensive third of the field and finishing their chances will prime the Wings for a final victory over the Silver Knights and the Comets.
Player to Watch: Tiguinho
Wings’ playmaker, Tiguinho, recently led the Wings’ comeback efforts in this past Saturday’s match in Baltimore against the Blast, earning himself an honorable mention on MISL team of the week. The Wings’ midfielder kicked off the scoring with a two-point goal, then assisting on the next two goals scored by Quiroz and Hoxie. While the comeback fell short, Tiguinho was the catalyst that brought Wichita back into the game. Tiguinho will need to continue his playmaking ability for the Wings to have a chance at securing another win over the Silver Knights on Friday and continue with the Comets on Sunday.
After tonight’s match, the Wings will take on the Comets Sunday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. (CST). The match can be viewed online at www.unation.com/misl or at the Wichita Wings official watch party held at Buffalo Wild Wings on North Rock Road. To keep up with all the latest Wings news, visit www.wichitawingsindoorsoccer.com or follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wings).
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