It took an extra period, but the Comets finally notched their first home win of the season in an 11-9 nail-biter over the visiting Chicago Riot Friday night at the Independence Events Center. The overtime victory, the second in a row for the Comets, was the team’s first on their home turf, snapping a four-game home losing streak.
"That was the most physical game we’ve played all year, and thankfully we came out on top," said Comets head coach Kim Roentved. "This is such a huge win for our fans, who have been so hungry for a home win. What an exciting game that was."
Jamar Beasley, who scored the game-winning goal was equally-ecstatic. "I wasn’t sure I had the angle, but what a thrill it was when it went in,” he said. “I’m so happy for our fans that we got this first home win. They really deserve this tonight."
The Comets got things going early with a goal 21 seconds into the game by forward Byron Alvarez, his 11th on the season, assisted by Jamar Beasley. Two minutes later, Beasley would score himself on a nice give and go with Will John, giving the Comets a quick 4-0 lead. The Riot would answer late in the quarter with a goal by Eric Duda. 1st Quarter Score: Comets 4, Riot, 2.
The second quarter scoring belonged to the Riot’s Alex Megson, who scored the only goal of the period at the :38 mark to tie things up for the half, 4-4.
The third quarter scoring consisted of a pair of 3-pointers, one by each team, with the Riot striking first and continuing their scoring streak into the second half with Novi Marojevic’s 3-pointer at the 3:37 mark. The Comets would answer with a 3-pointer of their own six minutes later by Brian Harris, unassisted, to tie the game at 7-7, which is how the third period would end.
An early defensive lapse on an inbounds play by Leo Gibson, the defensive hero in the win at Milwaukee a week ago, resulted in a Riot goal at the 2:54 mark by Andre Berenzon to give the Riot the lead at 9-7. The Comets would tie it back up at 9-9 on a breakaway goal by Jamar Beasley, assisted by Vahid Assadpour. The Comets couldn’t finish off the Riot in regulation after failing to score on their 5th power play of the evening with three minutes remaining in the game. End of regulation saw the score tied 9-9.
Four minutes into overtime, a pressuring Comets defense resulted in a long Jamie Harding pass down the left side to a streaking Jamar Beasley, who dribbled twice, then deposited the ball past diving Riot keeper, Jeff Richey, to score the game-winning goal at the 4:08 mark in overtime. The goal, giving Beasley the hat trick, was his 10th of the season. With his three goals and one assist, Beasley was named the Player of the Game.
The win brings the Comets record to 3-6 on the season. The Comets next game is a rematch against the Omaha Vipers on Sunday, January 16th at the Independence Events Center. The Comets and Vipers have split the two games they’ve played this season, each winning on the other’s home field. Game time is 3:10p.
Comets single game tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com. Groups and youth soccer teams can also “Play Like the Comets” on the field before every Comets home game. For Comets group tickets, call 816-478-BALL. For all the latest Comets news, visit www.cometsindoorsoccer.com.
For more information about the Major Indoor Soccer League, please visit the League’s official website www.MISL.net.