The Missouri Comets play the Milwaukee Wave in the opening round of the MISL playoffs at 3:10 p.m. Sunday at the Independence Events Center.
The Comets have played the Milwaukee Wave more than any other team in the MISL. The familiarity goes beyond regular season matchups, as these two squads have had to battle each other every year since 2011 for the right to advance past the first round of the playoffs.
Falling at home in Game 1 of the 2013 semifinal series, the Comets came back to score game-winning goals in the final 40 seconds of Game 2 and the series-deciding mini-game and advanced to their first championship series, where they lost to Baltimore.
The Wave finished the 2013-14 regular season at 16-4, with all four losses coming to the Comets. Missouri finished 14-6 and won the season series between the two teams 4-2.
Forward Leo Gibson leads the MISL’s highest scoring offense into the playoffs. The season scoring and assists champion accumulated 25 assists and 76 points. The Comets have five players among the league’s top 25 scorers and averaged 16.45 points per game.
The Wave’s success is also fueled by their high-powered offense. They scored an average of 16.20 points per game, led by forward Ian Bennett. However, the Comets defense and the MISL Player of the Week, goalkeeper Danny Waltman, have kept the Wave under 10 points four times. Twice they were held to only two goals.
Wave head coach Keith Tozer has more wins than nearly any other indoor soccer coach in history. He matches up against Vlatko Andonovski, who is in his first year as head coach of the Comets.
The second game of the series will be at Milwaukee’s U.S. Cellular Arena at 7 p.m. Monday. If the series is tied, a 15-minute mini-game will be played immediately following Game 2.
COMETS APPEARANCE: Comets goalkeeper Danny Waltman, the MISL Player of the Week, and teammate John Sosa will be at Shocking Prices from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday signing autographs and posing for photos. Shocking Prices owner John Olivarez encouraged Missouri Comets fans to drop by as there are a few other surprises in store for fans.