By Ken Jackson
The Orlando SeaWolves will conclude their inaugural season of Major Arena Soccer League action at Silver Spurs Arena with a pair of games this weekend.
Orlando (8-14) will play FC Utica (16-7), who can clinch the Eastern Division title with a win, on Friday at 7:35 p.m. The rival Florida Tropics (6-17) come up from Lakeland on Saturday to close the season in a 7:05 p.m. match.
A tough weekend series saw the team be eliminated from playoff contention. A home game Friday had all the intrigue of a playoff matchup, but Kansas City ultimately won the battle, 7-6.
Throughout the first half the teams traded blows; the Comets would strike only to see the SeaWolves return fire. Derek Huffman, Joshio Sandoval and Gordy Gurson scored and the teams went into the locker rooms tied 3-3.
The second half started poorly for Orlando, as they conceded three goals in the third quarter to fall down 6-3. Osvaldo Rojas scored just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter in to pull them back within two, but once again the Comets responded to make it 7-4.
Orlando pushed back and cut the deficit to one thanks to late goals from Gurson and Thiago Freitas, but a tying goal never surfaced, and the SeaWolves were eliminated from the MASL playoffs.
“It kind of goes how our games have been going as of late,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said after the match. “We have some decent minutes, then have moments of disaster where we give up bad goals and then we climb our way back in and then just when it looks like we can settle things down and start to build, we give up more bad goals.”
The team traveled to Milwaukee on Sunday to play the Southeast Division champion Wave (20-3). Gurson put the SeaWolves on the board a minute into the game, but it only served to build up the Wave and it came crashing down on Orlando.
Milwaukee scored six straight goals between the first and second quarters, and after Derek Huffman scored before halftime to make it 6-2, the Wave added six more to make it 12-2.