COMETS TAKE GAME 1 OVER OUTLAWS

The Kansas City Comets (4-0-0) had seven different goalscorers in their 9-7 road win over the Texas Outlaws (1-2-1) on Saturday evening in Mesquite, Texas. The Comets and Outlaws battled hard for four quarters and now both head back to Kansas City for the return matchup on Sunday.

Among the stars of Saturday’s contest were a pair of youthful midfielders for the Comets. Leo Acosta, 21 years old, scored two goals in his MASL debut. Lalo Alonso, 23 years old, also scored twice in the same game for the first time in his young career.

“I was waiting for this moment the first three games,” said Comets head coach Stefan Stokic about Acosta’s debut. “He got injured so we couldn’t use him (in the first three games). I know his ability and my expectations of him. He should have had three tonight. He’s still mad about it. The thing for me is it’s just the beginning for Leo.”

The Comets were without the defensive duo of Berto Palmer and Chad Vandegriffe as they were sidelined with injuries. Acosta joined defender Erik Pereira in making their Comets debuts on Saturday.

Just like last week, the Comets went behind first. The Outlaws took the early lead as Vini Dantas scored less than two minutes into the game. The Comets eventually responded as Zach Reget scored his eighth goal of the year right as a powerplay was expiring, tucking his effort in from the right side.

Each team traded a pair of blows in the four-goal second quarter. The Comets went up 2-1 three minutes into the second frame when Mikey Lenis pressed high to force a turnover before scoring his second goal of the season. Texas equalized before Acosta put the Comets back in front after scoring his first career goal from a restart assisted by John Sosa. Texas equalized once again after Jorge Deleon scored on the powerplay.

The Comets came out hot in the third period. It started when Nacho Flores scored 4:27 into the quarter, scoring with a blast through traffic on the power play. Lalo Alonso and John Sosa also added goals before Acosta scored his second of the night. Morales pulled one back for the Outlaws late in the third period on the power play, making it 7-4 favoring the Comets.

The Outlaws kept battling back as Sebastian Mendez brought Texas within a pair, but the Comets kept answering the call. Henry Ramirez and Alonso scored for the Comets to distance them just enough. Mendez finished off his hat trick for Texas late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a depleted Comets defense.

The Comets were far from their best defensively, but goalkeeper Nicolau Neto did come up with 15 saves and picked up his fourth win of the season. Jesus Rivera made 19 stops for the Outlaws and picked up the loss.

While the Comets were not at their best, Stokic did like how his team came out for the second half, “That was the game changer for us: the high press. That’s how we scored the first four goals as quickly as possible. But the problem is we didn’t kill off the game.”

The Comets move back to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with four regulation wins. Both teams now travel to Kansas City for the return leg of the two-game set. The Comets host the Outlaws on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. CT. Tickets for the matchup can be purchased at kccomets.com/tickets.

SCORING SUMMARY

1st – TEX Dantas 1:41; KC Reget 8:35. Penalties – TEX Reyes (bc - holding) 6:29.

2nd – KC Lenis 3:00; TEX Morales 6:51; KC Acosta 7:42; TEX Deleon 11:15. Penalties – KC Flores (bc - reckless tackle) 10:21.

3rd – KC Flores 4:27; KC Alonso (Flores) 7:09; KC Sosa 8:52; KC Acosta (Reget) 9:58; TEX Morales (Mendez) 13:13. Penalties – TEX Dantas (bc – too many men); KC Ramirez (bc - dangerous play) 12:24.

4th – TEX Mendez (Reyes) 3:18; KC Ramirez (Reget) 6:37; TEX Morales 7:58; KC Alonso 8:12; TEX Mendez 12:08. Penalties – TEX Lee (bc – holding) 0:11; KC Reget (bc - tripping) 10:37.

Comets

Texas

Power Play

2/3

3/3

Penalty Minutes

6

6

Fouls

21

21

Shots

35

29