by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Comets (9-1) played a tight first half with the visiting Dallas Sidekicks (5-7) but used four consecutive third quarter goals to open up space and pick up a 9-4 win at Cable Dahmer Arena Saturday night. Ray Lee was the top-scorer for the Comets with a four-point performance on a goal and three assists. Lou Misner stopped eight shots for his first win in goal this season for the Comets.

The teams traded goals over the first 15 minutes of play with the Sidekicks scoring first, courtesy of a rare miscue by the Kansas City backfield. A back-pass intended for Comets’ keeper Lou Misner was directed into the net for an own-goal, credited to Bradlee Baladez with 12:54 remaining in the first.

With just under five minutes to play in the opening frame, Leo Gibson corralled a loose ball in the right corner and used his left foot to volley it past Dallas keeper Estevan Vazquez to knot the game at 1-1. For Gibson, it was his 17th goal of the season.

Less than a minute later, Baladez scored his second of the game, this one off his own foot to give the Sidekicks a 2-1 lead. Before time was up in the first, Ali Sodal’s second goal of the season for the Comets tied the game at 2-2. Sodal found a rebound of a shot by Rian Marques and had a wide-open net from the right side for the equalizer.

The second quarter was also an equal affair, but it was the Comets who struck first. Gibson slid a pass to Ramone Palmer from the top of the arc and then screened the Dallas keeper as Palmer sent a low-roller into the bottom right corner for a 3-2 lead with 7:21 to go in the half.

Dallas tied the game 3-3 when Jamie Lovegrove sent home his own rebound for his 10th goal of the season and the teams headed to the break even on the scoreboard, though Kansas City out shot the Sidekicks by a 15-7 margin in the half.

Unlike the first two quarters, the third quarter was anything but even, as the Comets scored four straight goals beginning with John Sosa, who took a long pass from Ray Lee and converted to give the Comets a 4-3 lead with 9:07 left in the third.

Next was Lee’s turn for a goal as he scored, followed by Lucas Sousa who scored 15 seconds later and suddenly the Kansas City lead was 6-3 with 7:14 to play in the third.

With four seconds remaining in a power play, Gibson took a shot with his right foot which was blocked, then struck with his left foot and sent a rocket into the back of the net for the 7-3 lead headed to the final quarter of play.

Kansas City’s fifth consecutive goal was on Lee’s third assist of the game. He got the ball to Marques on the right side, and Marques sent it just inside the left post to make it an 8-3 Kansas City lead with 7:51 left to play.

The next Comets’ goal was a special one as Absalom Solorio picked up his first MASL career goal with 7:51 left to play to push Kansas City’s lead to 9-3. The final goal of the game came off the foot of Julio Varela for the Sidekicks to reach the 9-4 final score.

The Comets will get a bit of a breather now with their next game not coming until February 12 when the Chihuahua Savage make their first appearance at Cable Dahmer Arena to close out the Kansas City homestand. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.


1st – DAL Baladez 2:17; KC Gibson (Sandivari) 10:04; DAL Baladez (Mendez) 10:58; KC Sodal (Marques) 12:22. Penalties – None.

2nd – KC Palmer (Gibson) 7:21; DAL Lovegrove 4:56. Penalties – KC Ellis (yellow- dissent) 3:20.

3rd – KC Sosa (Lee) 9:07; KC Lee (Sosa) 7:31; KC Sousa (Lee) 7:46; KC Gibson 11:17 pp. Penalties – DAL Mendez (blue- contact above the shoulder/elbow) 9:21.

4th – KC Marques (Lee) 5:10; KC Solorio (Sousa) 7:09; DAL Varela (Lovegrove) 14:31. Penalties – KC Sandivari (blue-boarding) 8:28.

Power Play – Comets 1/1, Dallas 0/1

Shots – Comets 35, Dallas 15