by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO - The Kansas City Comets (12-6-4) needed a win to put some distance between them and fifth-place Baltimore in the battle for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. They got just that in beating Utica City FC (13-6-1) by an 11-6 final in front of 4,788 fans at Cable Dahmer Arena Sunday evening.

The Comets looked to have their hands full as they found themselves on the downside of a 4-1 deficit after the first 15 minutes of play. Rian Marques scored the only goal of the first quarter for the Comets and Utica tallied four straight to put the home team down by three.

Kansas City turned it around in the next frame as they outscored UCFC by a 6-1 margin to take a 7-5 lead at the half. Zach Reget accounted for three of the second-quarter goals and would go on to score four goals in the game to tie Marques for the game's leading scorer with four points. Marques finished with a pair of goals and assists. 

Defense, including some big saves by Kansas City goalkeeper Nicolau Neto who finished with 12 saves while picking up the win in goal, was huge as they held Utica to a single goal in the second half while the Comets' offense found the back of the net four times. 

With the win, the Comets were looking to the Baltimore at Monterrey game to see if they would clinch their playoff spot today. A loss in regulation by the Blast would send the Comets to the postseason but Monterrey would need to go to overtime to beat Baltimore. That put the magic number for Kansas City to clinch a playoff spot at a single point over the Blast. 

Next up for Kansas City is a trip to St. Charles to complete their 2023-24 I-70 Series with the Ambush next Sunday before returning home on March 23 to close out their regular-season schedule against San Diego at 6:05. Tickets for that last game are going fast! Go to to secure your seat today!