Sprint to the playoffs start Sunday as MASL Florida Tropics host Utica City FC
LAKELAND, FL. -- The Florida Tropics have assured themselves of a post-season spot in the 2023 Ron Newman Cup playoffs, but the sprint to the regular season finish line will still have plenty attached to it as six different Eastern Division teams are still alive for a playoff spot.
The Tropics are currently in third place and can finish no worse than fifth. But they are hoping to improve on their third-place spot right now, a point back of the Baltimore Blast, and three points ahead of Utica who has played one more game than Florida.
Utica will be in town Sunday for the first of three straight at home to finish the 24-game regular season. A win Sunday would assure the Tropics finish no worse than third in the division.
The St. Louis Ambush, still trying to chase down the Kansas City Comets for the fifth spot in the East, will come to Lakeland to finish out the regular season with games Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 2.
The playoffs will start the following weekend with a one-game play-in game between the No. 4 and No. 5 finishers in the division at the home arena of the No. 4 team. Then, playoffs move to the divisional semi-final round which will be a best-of-three series, with each team hosting one home game. If the games are split, then a 15-minute knockout game will be
held at the immediate conclusion of the second game.
If the Tropics can catch Baltimore for second, they would have home field advantage for the divisional semi-finals. Baltimore has a home-and-home series with the Mesquite Outlaws this weekend.
Sunday's game at the RP Funding Center starts at 3:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on MASL TV on Twitch.
The Tropics are led offensively by Ricardo Carvalho with 17 goals and 13 assists.
Defenseman Drew Ruggles and forward Vini Dantas each have 16 goals on the season. For Utica, Gordy Gurson is pacing the offense with 20 goals and 19 assists.
Home game tickets are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at www.rpfundingcenter.com, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as
opposed to calling the box office directly.