Sports Editor

Dylan Hundelt traded for MASL star Thiago Freitas

It took three games — the last of a home stand to open the season — but the Orlando SeaWolves finally opened the lid on their offense and showed the fans who attended what indoor soccer is supposed to be all about.

The SeaWolves scored five first-quarter goals, and another five in the third, to notch their first ever MASL win with a 12-7 pasting of t he Mississauga (Toronto) Metrostars Saturday.

The team makes its first road trip today, by bus, to Lakeland to take on the Florida Tropics (2-3), who come off a 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Wave. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m.

Traxler said the matchup today in Lakeland will be a tough one.

“Florida is a team that has proven they can score goals,” he said. “Milwaukee is one of the best teams at keeping possession, so doing that (tonight) will be critical for us. They have a lot of weapons so we have to be good defensive while continuing the work going forward and find the goal-scoring form we established against Mississauga.”

Last week the fast start set the tone, as Mississauga was only able to close within two, at 6-4 at the half and 7-5 four minutes into the third quarter.

SeaWolves Jonathan Mendoza

Orlando SeaWolves midfielder Jonathan Mendoza tallied a hat trick in Saturday's 12-7 victory, their first.

The legion of Orlando City club mercenaries — Mendoza (hat trick), Luke Boden, Tyler Turner and Lewis Neal — accounted for five goals and three assists.

“The hat trick is awesome, and to be able to help the team win,” Mendoza said. “It wasn’t until I got home I realized I scored three goals.”

Captain Gordy Gurson added two goals and two assists; Edwin Rojas and Osvaldo Rojas also had two goals.

Coach Tom Traxler said the game was “the result we were looking for.”

“We had to get a win after starting 0-2, so it was important to have a response,” he said. “We knew there were things to exploit against Mississauga, and I was glad to see we could get forward a little bit. We might have been a little sloppier in the back end that I would have liked, but at the end when the horn sounds we got the win and that’s what matters.”

Mendoza scored Orlando’s first goal off a pass from Turner, who got it from Boden — so Orlando City’s fingerprints were all over it — and the SeaWolves were never tied or trailed, as they scored four times in a 2 ½ minute stretch of the first quarter.

On special teams, Orlando was 2-for-3 on the power play and killed off Mississauga’s lone power play.

Gurson said he expects the team to be better on offense here on out.

“I wouldn’t say 12 goals will come every game, but I think we’re over scoring four or fewer goals,” he said. “Guys are still adapting to the game but the numbers from last game show our transition is getting better. We just need to stay focused defensively now.”

SEAWOLVES TRADE HUNDELT, GET PLAYMAKER FREITAS. Looking to give the offense a boost beyond the 12-goal outburst last week, the SeaWolves acquired midfielder Thiago Freitas from the Harrisburg Heat in exchange for Dylan Hundelt and a player to be named later.

Freitas, a native Brazilian, had 11 goals and 26 assists (third in the MASL) in 22  Hundelt, a defender, had one goal in Orlando’s three games after spending the last three seasons with the St. Louis Ambush.

“Thiago will help us tremendously,” SeaWolves Head Coach Tom Traxler said. “He has the ability to make big plays and distribute the ball to other playmakers on the field. It’s always tough to let a player like Dylan go, however this trade fits the needs of both clubs.”