Rampage Rally to End Chicago Hex

by Sydney Nusinov

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL (Feb. 19. 2017) - The Cedar Rapids Rampage were eliminated from postseason contention when the Milwaukee Wave beat the Kansas City Comets 7-5 last night, but found new motivation half way through their 9-7 win over the Chicago Mustangs Sunday afternoon at the Sears Centre.

Cedar Rapids trailed 7-4 after Taylor Bond’s restart goal at 3:49 of the third quarter. Bond seemed to mock Tony Aguilar and Derek Huffman for flinching in the wall, but it served as the wake-up call the Rampage needed as they scored five unanswered goals to beat the Mustangs for the first time in the teams’ seven meetings.

The comeback started with a Bobby Hurwitz shorthanded breakaway goal, only the second shorthanded goal of the season for the Rampage, who were 4 for 4 on penalty killing today. Huffman’s goal-crashing tap in of a Joshio Sandoval cross cut the Chicago lead to 7-6. Tony Walls’s spinning shot in the box kissed the far post to tie the game. Then, Walls again cleaned up a loose ball in the box after Wilo Martinez failed to clear Gordy Gurson’s cross, to give the Rampage an 8-7 lead with nine seconds left in the third quarter. It was Walls’s third goal of the game.

A minute into the fourth quarter Cedar Rapids caught Chicago in transition and Hewerton drew Jesus Flores out of the net and slid the ball in the middle to an open Aguilar, who calmly finished with his left foot to give the Rampage their only two goal lead of the game at 9-7.

On a day the Rampage only got two assists from their top three scorers and still managed nine goals, it was their defense that took over, holding Chicago scoreless over the final 26:11. Brett Petricek played an inspired second half, coming out of nowhere to take two balls off the goal line, and even earning a penalty with four seconds left on an aggressive clear.

Former Mustang Sandoval stood out on both ends of the field against his old team, as did Jonatan Santos who scored two first half goals and played lock-down defense in the second half. Bond finished with two goals and two assists and Alexis Camarana had two goals and an assist, all in the first half.

The Rampage improved to 12-7 while the Mustangs fell to 9-8.

The Rampage will end their season in Independence, MO when they take on the Kansas City Comets next Sunday, February 26. The Comets can clinch the Central Division title with a win. If the Comets lose, they will need Milwaukee to lose to Chicago on March 5.