Orlando SeaWolves fall to St Louis Ambush in dramatic shootout in first ever game

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Orlando SeaWolves kicked off their inaugural MASL season with a heart-stopping 5-4 overtime shootout loss against St Louis Ambush  on Friday night at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Ambush started the better and got on the board first when a shot by Mario Marcos in the 7th minute of the first quarter deflected off SeaWolves Joshio Sandoval and into the net.   For Marcos, it was his first goal as a member of the Ambush and it would be the lone one of the opening period, which ended with the Ambush on top 1-0.

Orlando then scored their first ever goal in Major Arena Soccer when Gordy Gurson played a clever ball off the wall and into the path of Luke Boden (pictured above), who slammed the ball home after 1:23 of the second quarter. The Ambush seized a 2-1 lead at 6:11 when Antonio Manfut took a pass from JT Thomas and fired a rocket into the net. St. Louis then increased their lead when Orlando goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa was caught out of position and Marcos found a clear path to steer the ball home for his second goal of the contest at 11:57.  Sliwa sustained a hamstring injury in the incident and was replaced in goal by Rainer Hauss.

Half Time: Orlando SeaWolves 1 St. Louis Ambush 3

One minute into the second half, Orlando had the chance to get back into the game as Ambush midfielder Lucas Almeida committed a foul giving the SeaWolves a power play. Gordy Gurson capitalized on the opportunity by scoring at 2:07 to shrink St. Louis’ advantage. Gurson’s tally was the lone goal of the period as the period finished 3-2 to the Ambush.

Orlando then gained another power play to punish the Ambush as Lewis Neal (pictured above)leveled the game with an immaculate half-volley from the right-hand side as 2.28 of the final period.  The Ambush were not to be outdone and restored the lead again less than a minute later as Jerjer Gibson poked home a goal at 3:03. Seven minutes later former Ambush defender Dylan Hundelt took a long shot that deflected off Gibson and into the back of the net to level the match 4-4.

The SeaWolves then went full out to win the game in regular time and with just a few seconds to go, Eduardo Cruz found himself in front of goal with just Ambush keeper Casey Clark to beat. Unfortunately for the home fans, the midfielder saw his effort blocked by the keeper and the opportunity lost.

Full Time: Orlando Sea Wolves 4 St Louis Ambush 4

This being MASL, sudden death overtime was then required but neither team could break the deadlock in the ten minute period. A best of three shootout was then required to settle matters as the Ambush’s Pepe hit the post with the first effort. Former Ambush player Richard Schmermund then strode forward confidently and scored for Orlando, giving them the advantage. Antonio Manfut then scored for St. Louis as Tyler Turner missed for the SeaWolves, effectively making things sudden death. Clayton then scored for the Ambush and a miss by Gordy Gurson settled things in the visitors favor. It was a dramatic start to the season but the SeaWolves can be proud of their performance in their first ever game.

After the game, Orlando SeaWolves Head Coach Tom Traxler said: “From a character standpoint, really proud of the players. Proud of the leadership they showed inside the group. No, it’s not the result we want, we have some things we have to clean up as well, but we’ll get to work on that on Monday.”

The SeaWolves will now have a week off before they host the defending champion Baltimore Blast on Friday, December 14 at 7:35 p.m. EST at Silver Spurs Arena.

The Ambush, meanwhile, will embark on the second leg of their two-game Florida road trip as they journey to Lakeland to tangle with the Florida Tropics on Saturday evening.

Final Score After Shootout: Orlando SeaWolves 4 St. Louis Ambush 5

Attendance: 2,478

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com


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