LEITE LEADS WAVE RALLY PAST AMBUSH 16-12
MILWAUKEE (March 1) —The Milwaukee Wave will play Sunday for the Major Indoor Soccer League regular season title after rallying to defeat a game St. Louis Ambush squad, 16-12.
Milwaukee (16-3) hosts Missouri (13-6) at 2 p.m. Sunday at the U.S. Cellular Arena. A victory sends the Wave into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed against Syracuse, with games Friday in Syracuse and Monday in Milwaukee. With the a loss to the Comets — who have beaten Milwaukee in three of five games this year — Milwaukee drops to the second seed and faces Missouri on Sunday and Monday in the MISL semifinals. The only caveat is that if Baltimore (16-3) somehow falls to Pennsylvania (1-18) on Sunday, Milwaukee is No. 1 regardless.
Marcio Leite led the Wave (16-3) back from a 10-4 halftime deficit with three goals and an assist in the third quarter. He started the half in the penalty box after drawing a blue card late in the first half, and early in the half Victor Quiroz joined him, leaving St. Louis (4-16) with a 5 v 3 advantage. Kory Dowell scored his third goal of the game on the following restart, making the score 10-4 St. Louis.
Leite began to bring the Wave back with 10:25 left in the third, cutting left to the top of the arc and finishing high above Greg Crook.
Leite then set up Quiroz for a goal on a power play, and on another man advantage fellow Brazilian Luan Oliveira fed Leite for his second goal, knotting the score at 10-all. Leite put Milwaukee in the lead all by himself, stealing the ball from an Ambush player deep in St. Louis' defensive half, faking Crook to the ground and chipping the ball over him.
Nick Perera made it 14-10 with just under five minutes left; Ian Bennett rolled in a clincher after St. Louis had scored with 25 seconds left.
The Ambush had lost nine in a row but outplayed the Wave in the first half. They scored the first six points of the game, Dowell with two goals in the run.
Tenzin Rampa got Milwaukee on the board, but Mike Roach potted a rebound following a restart to push the lead back to six points. Marcelo Fontana scored the last goal of the half, sending the Wave to the locker room down 8-4.
Sunday's contest against the Comets is Fan Appreciation Day, and fans are invited on the field following the game to get autographs from and photos with all the players and coaches. In addition, great prizes will be given away, including a 50-inch TV from ABC Audio and Video and a Trek Bike from Wheel and Sprocket.
For tickets to Sunday's game, visit Ticketmaster.com or come to the U.S. Cellular Arena box office.