The undefeated Milwaukee Wave looked like they were going to enjoy a laugher Friday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
They rolled into town and grabbed a 10-4 lead going into the final 15 minutes.
That’s when coach Kim Roentved’s Comets finally came to life with sixth attacker Lucas Rodriguez in the net.
Kansas City scored four consecutive sixth attacker goals to cut the deficit to 10-8 before Major Arena Soccer League scoring leader Ian Bennett snuck the ball past Rodriguez for the Wave’s 11th point.
Keil Williams added one more goal for the Comets, but it wasn’t enough as the Wave claimed a hard-fought 11-9 victory to improve to 9-0 on the season and claim their third victory over Roentved’s team this season.
“I was hoping for the miracle comeback when we cut the deficit to 10-8, but it didn’t happen,” Roentved said after his team fell to 2-6. “But I was so pleased with the passion we showed in the fourth quarter.
“This is a young team, and we were going against one of the better teams in the league, but the guys never stopped working hard. When you put in a sixth attacker, it’s a gamble, but tonight, it paid off for us.
“It just didn’t pay off enough for a victory.”
Guerrero Pino, Anthony Grant, Bryan Perez and Patrick Kelly scored the four quick goals in the fourth quarter for the Comets.
“We did everything we talked about in the locker room, if indeed, we went to the sixth attacker,” Roentved said. “Being down 10-4 was simply not acceptable. We are young and we are still learning to play together, but our fans deserve a better performance than they saw when we trailed 10-4.”
Team captain and assistant coach Leo Gibson, who had two first-half goals, agreed.
“It’s a process, and we have so many new, young players who are learning during games, and that is difficult,” said Gibson, one of the few original Comets still on the team. “Tonight we got off to a tough start.
“Milwaukee is a very strong team, but we didn’t play well the first three quarters. We did a great job coming back in the fourth quarter, but we could not come back enough to get the win. But, if we keep playing like that, the wins will come.”
Milwaukee’s Marco Leitte had a hat trick and goalie Josh Lemos had nine saves and scored the Wave’s fifth goal.
Casey Gasson was in the net for the Comets.