The Comets just needed to win Game Two of the Playoff Series against the Wave in Milwaukee or, if the Wave won, the ensuing 15 minute mini-game afterwards to advance to the MISL Championship Game against Baltimore. The Comets lost both games Sunday at U.S. Cellular Center, ending an unexpected and thrilling run to finish their season.
Despite being down at halftime by a score of 13-2 and seemingly dead in the water, the Comets staged a dramatic comeback to score 11 points in the 4th period, including three goals in just over a minute, to take a one point lead with four minutes to play. However, at the 11:34 mark, a Milwaukee 3-point goal that ricocheted off a Comets defender and past Comets’ keeper, Danny Waltman, gave the Wave the victory in game two of the series by a score of 20-18.
With the series tied up 1-1, it was on to the deciding mini-game – an extra 15 minute period to decide who gets to move on to play the Blast on Friday night. After a five minute break between games, it was the Wave striking first, with Josh Rife nailing a 3-pointer at the 3:39 mark. Shortly after, it was Greg Howes of the Wave bending a right-footed restart kick past a wall of Comets defenders and Waltman to give the Wave a 5-0 lead. With Vahid Assadpour inserted as a 6th attacker, the Comets’ Byron Alvarez mustered the team’s only goal of the mini-game with 15 seconds left in the match. Final score: Wave 5, Comets 2.
The two losses Sunday end the Comets’ inaugural season that saw the team start with a 1-6 record, then 4-11 after a February 6th loss in Chicago that dropped them into last place in the MISL standings. The Comets closed out the regular season on a tear, winning four out of their last five games to earn a spot in the playoffs. After defeating the Wave 11-5 in Game One of the playoff series Wednesday night at the Independence Events Center, all the pressure was on Milwaukee to win both matches Sunday. “I am so proud of the way our guys played today,” said Comets’ Head Coach, Kim Roentved. “To come back like we did in the first game...my heart hurts for these guys, but we will keep our heads held high. We have so much to build onI can’t wait for next season to get here.”