New Look Rampage Get First Win Over Comets, 5-3
INDEPENDENCE, MO – The Cedar Rapids Rampage opened their second season with a 5-3 win over the Central Division champion Kansas City Comets before 3,302 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
The Rampage, who started 0-7 last year en route to a 5-15 season, picked up the win for new Head Coach Hewerton Moreira by playing a patient game and limiting the Comets offensive chances.
Milan Ivanovic opened the scoring for the Comets just 46 seconds into the game. Rookie goalkeeper Brett Petricek didn’t get rattled by the early goal and, in fact, showed no fear in ranging far out of his net at times to join the offense.
The Rampage stayed with the Comets, but found few offensive opportunities. Kansas City opened their lead to 2-0 when John Sosa chipped a ball to Guerrero Pino in the target position, who deftly volleyed it over Petricek at 5:17.
Cedar Rapids’ bend-but-not-break defense narrowly avoided going down 3-0, and Tony Walls seized the momentum away by poking home a loose ball in a scrum to get the Rampage on the board at 12:38.
Kansas City’s lead lasted until 9:28 of the third quarter when Walls went five-hole on Comets goalie Stephen Paterson to tie the game, 2-2.
“Kid Dynamite” Gordy Gurson gave the Rampage their first lead at 2:46 of the fourth quarter when he headed in a crossing ball. The goal resulted from a broken restart play and Sam Guernsey chipped the ball from the seat of his pants to Gurson.
The Rampage picked up a dangerous restart on a foul in the corner and Comets defender Sosa was given a misconduct on the play, taking him out of the game for the next five-plus minutes. Jonatan Santos triggered the restart and Hewerton blasted it into the net to give Cedar Rapids a 4-2 lead at 4:22.
The Comets got a break when Pablo da Silva’s shot hit both posts but stayed out of the net. Moments later Guernsey got a penalty for shooting the ball after the Rampage had been whistled for a foul. On the ensuing penalty kill Petricek made a big save and distributed the ball downfield where Hewerton beat two Comets on the boards and got Paterson leaning the wrong way and calmly put the ball in the goal to give Cedar Rapids a 5-3 lead.
Just as Guernsey’s penalty expired, Bryan Perez scored a nice back post header on a cross from Lucas Rodriguez at 10:22. Cedar Rapids did a good job maintaining possession and Kansas City was unable to get their sixth attacker on the field. Ivanovic pulled down Jamar Beasley with 1:42 to go, which gave the Rampage a power play for the rest of the game and squashed Kansas City’s comeback hopes.