Orlando SeaWolves notch important win in play off chase against Florida Tropics

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Orlando SeaWolves entered the weekend knowing that two victories over Florida Tropics and Kansas City Comets on Friday and Saturday evenings respectively, would work wonders for their MASL play off hopes.

A convincing 6-3 victory ensured part one of the plan went to script. The SeaWolves eighth win of the season started slowly as both teams played out a cagey start. Neither side seemed willing to risk conceding a goal and it wasn’t until Jonathan Mendoza charged from the half way line and struck home a superbly accurate strike off the far post, with 6:48 left on the clock in the first quarter, that the game came to life.

The SeaWolves added a second goal in the 4th minute of the second quarter when Richard Schmermund and Osvaldo Rojas combined from a free kick for the Mexican to tap home. With 2.26 to go of the quarter, the same two combined again and Rojas turned the ball home to make it 3-0 at half time.

As expected in a local derby, the Tropics came back at the home side and six minutes into the half the visitors pulled one back as Enzo Marangoni tapped in at the back post. Less than two minutes later, the SeaWolves settled any nerves as Gordy Gurson fired home on the volley to give Tropics keeper Hugo Silva no chance and to make it 4-1. A minute later it was 4-2 as the visitors grabbed their second goal of the evening when a kind bounce saw Anthony Arico first to react and slot home.

With just eight seconds of the period left, the SeaWolves added a fifth as Derek Hoffman found a narrow gap to squeeze the ball into the net on the left hand post. The home side then controlled the ball for large periods of the final quarter and with just 32 seconds of the game remaining Lewis Neal found an unmarked Elmo Neto in front of goal and the Brazilian unselfishly laid on a tap in for Gurson to make it 6-2. There was still time for the Tropics to strike back and Antonio Manfut found the back of the net to complete the scoring for the evening with 13 seconds to go.

It was an important win for the SeaWolves in their quest to grab a play off place and but for a series of fantastic saves by the excellent Silva in the Tropics goal, the margin of defeat may well have been far greater.

Full Time: Orlando SeaWolves 6 Florida Tropics 3

The SeaWolves face a quick turnaround as they play the Kansas City Comets on Saturday evening. Kickoff for that game will be at 7:05 p.m at Silver Spurs Arena. The Tropics, meanwhile, will be home for another South Central matchup on Sunday at the RP Funding Center against the Kansas City Comets. Kickoff is at 3:05 p.m.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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