As a group of police officers walked through the locker room area at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Friday night, after the Kansas City Comets dropped an 8-5 game to cross-state rival St. Louis, coach Kim Roentved quipped, “Am I getting arrested for the way we played tonight?
“I hope not – but maybe I should be.”
The coach was livid following a 44-shot night in which St. Louis goalie Paulo was a brick wall, making stops that had to be seen to be believed.
“I tip my hat to the Ambush and to Paulo,” Roentved said, “but I am embarrassed. I do not use that term often, but I am embarrassed and sorry that our fans came out to see us play like this.
“From the get go, a lack of discipline, of desire, of passing – of the little things a team needs to do to win. I am so disappointed, even though Paulo was outstanding in goal.”
Paulo took three, close-range shots to the head – one early in the game, that stunned him to the point that he needed medical attention, but would not leave the field – and added three stops in the fourth quarter that drew high praise from his coach, Hewerton Moreira.
“Paulo is a big name in futsal, but that sport is not as big as soccer, so when we brought him here last year we knew he could be a great goalie,” Moreira said after the Ambush beat the Comets for the third time this season and evened their record at 5-5.
“He was amazing tonight – just amazing. From the shot off his face early in the game to those stops in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, he made big stop after big stop. This was a win we needed and he helped us get it.”
Paulo, a native of Natal, Brazil, wore the biggest smile among his teammates as he greeted a group of Ambush fans who came down near the field to offer congratulations.
“That is a great team, as you can see (looking at the 44 shots on goal on the scoreboard),” Paulo said. “But this is a great team win. Our team won, I am just a part of our team. We are happy to win here – this is a difficult place to play and I am so proud.”
The Comets got on the scoreboard first as Anthony Grant scored at 8:08 of the first period. Douglas Dos Santos then tied the game at 1-all, and that’s the score that started the second period.
The Ambush scored two goals in the second period, and the 4-5 Comets added a goal by Kiel Williams and a late goal by Adam James, with just 26 seconds left in the half, tied it 3-3 at halftime.
The Ambush owned the third period as they scored two goals in the opening 3 minutes, 29 seconds. Zach Reget scored a power play goal at 1:12 and Dos Santos added his second goal of the night to make it 5-3.
Robert Acosta and Pepe Junquiera added goals to give the Ambush a 7-3 lead, but the Comets fought back to cut the deficit to three as Lucas Rodriguez scored at 11:08 to make it 7-4.
A coast-to-coast goal by Reget – as the Comets went with a sixth attacker – gave the Ambush an 8-5 lead at 11:56 of the fourth quarter.
Robert Palmer scored a sixth-attacker goal at 13:04 to account for the final score.