Orlando SeaWolves take victory in Lakeland as they defeat Florida Tropics in local derby

Seeking revenge for a defeat on their last away visit to Florida Tropics in December, Orlando SeaWolves traveled to Lakeland on a mission. Orlando’s Victor France, playing his first game of the season after missing the first couple of months through injury, opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the match after a mistake by Tropics keeper Hugo. It set the tone for the evening as a goal fest broke out with the visitors ultimately enjoying an 11-6 victory.

It was the most goals the Tropics have conceded at home in their three years in the Major Arena Soccer League as both teams played out an extremely entertaining game in front of a franchise-record crowd of 3,783.
Four minutes after France’s opening goal, Gordy Gurson got the first of his four goals on the night to give the SeaWolves a 2-0 lead. With four minutes left of the first quarter Guilherme grabbed one back for the Tropics but goals from Thiago Freitas on 12 minutes and Lewis Neal with 90 seconds left saw the visitors finish the first quarter 4-1 up.

The second quarter got off to a slower start as Ricardo Diegues pulled one back for Florida to make it 4-2 before Osvaldo Rojas and a second power play goal on the night for Neal added further goals to make it six to the men in blue. The Tropics were not to be outdone though and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope as Guilherme snatched his second goal just a minute before the half time buzzer to make it 6-3 at the interval.

Guilhermehe then notched his hat-trick with a lovely distance strike nine minutes into the third quarter to cut the lead to two, but it was that man Gurson who found himself unmarked with 3.55 left of the quarter as he slotted home to the restore the three goal lead to make it 7-4 to the SeaWolves heading into the final quarter.

The final period opened with Diegues grabbing one back to make it 7-5 with 11.55 left on the clock but any hope the Tropics might have evaporated as Orlando again responded positively. First Luke Boden tucked the ball home off a rebound from a Neal strike with 8 minutes left, then Gurson secured his hat trick after fine work by Osvaldo Rojas on the left hand side to make it 9-5 less than a minute later.

Anthony Arico then grabbed a goal for the Tropics with 5.30 left and with the Tropics having to play with six men outfield to force the game, Gurson seized the opportunity to score from his own half with a long range shot to make it 10-6 with two minutes left. Rojas then put the icing on the cake just seconds later as he added a similar goal from distance to conclude the scoring for the evening and to make it 11-6 to teh SeaWolves.

The SeaWolves will play their next game at home as they host the Milwaukee Wave on Monday, January 21st. Kickoff for that game will be at 7:35 p.m EST. The Tropics, meanwhile, will host the Milwaukee Wave next weekend on Saturday, January 19th. For tickets and more information, visit www. OrlandoSeaWolves.com or www.fltropics.com
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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