COMETS TOP WAVE, SET UP REMATCH IN MISL SEMIFINALS
MILWAUKEE (March 2) — The Milwaukee Wave will face the Missouri Comets in Major Indoor Soccer League semifinals after dropping the season finale to the Comets 9-4 at the U.S. Cellular Arena on Sunday.
Milwaukee (16-4) is the No. 2 seed and Missouri (14-6) is the No. 3 seed. The first leg of the two-game series is at 3:10 p.m. Sunday at the Indpendence Events Center in Missouri. Milwaukee hosts Game 2 at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10. If the teams split, they'll play a 15-minute “mini-game” to break the tie.
Missouri handed the Wave their only four losses of the regular season, holding them to 23 total points in those games. Sunday's contest was not unlike the others, with Missouri keeper Danny Waltman frustrating Milwaukee with some outstanding saves and the Comets pressure creating problems.
“I think first you've got to go to Danny Waltman,” said Wave coach Keith Tozer. “Danny Waltman has showed he's one of the best keepers in the league. I think we showed a lot of good shots at him, and he made a lot of unbelieveable saves.”
Waltman stopped 17 of 19 shots and Lucas Rodriguez scored two goals, including a back-breaking 3-pointer with 7:52 remaining to give Missouri at 9-4 lead. Rodriguez stole a pass in the attacking end, brought the ball into position with his chest and rifled a volley past Marcel Feenstra.
Rodriguez also scored Missouri's opening goal, and Bryan Perez made it 4-0 in the second quarter before Nick Perera opened the Wave's account with 10:46 left in the second.
Milwaukee didn't score again until Marcelo Fontana finished a crossing pass from Hewerton with 13:26 left in the fourth to make it 6-4. Rodriguez's blast then finished the game.
Now, Milwaukee has to show it can beat the Comets, who are the only visiting team to win a regular season game in Milwaukee in the last two years.
“We've got to make them wish that they didn't want to play us,” said Wave midfielder Marcio Leite. “They wanted to play us (in the playoffs), now, the next two games, we've got to make them regret that.”
Baltimore (17-3) wins the MISL regular-season crown and takes on the Syracuse Silver Knights in the other semifinal. Those games are Friday night in Syracuse and next Tuesday in Baltimore.
The March 10 game in Milwaukee is “Monday Night Futbol,” and all tickets are half price, as low as $7 to commemorate the Wave's push for their seventh championship.