Tropics Topple Comets

by Brian Ackley

KANSAS CITY (Dec 30, 2016) –  The holiday season just got a whole lot happier for the Florida Tropics, who made a little of their own indoor soccer history Friday night.

The Major Arena Soccer League team used two short-handed goals in the fourth quarter – and the franchise's first ever hat trick – to stun the two-time defending Central division champion Kansas City Comets, 8-7, before a crowd of 4,302 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The win snapped the Tropics four-game losing streak in their sixth road game in nine starts so far this season.

Florida trailed just 3-2 after the first 30 minutes, getting goals from Ricardo Diegues, his team leading eighth, and Victor Parreiras with just 34 seconds to play in the second quarter.

Diegues got his second of the night on a pretty re-start feed from Freddy Moojen at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter to tie it at 3-3, and he completed the his hat trick just over three minutes later to give Florida a short-lived 4-3 lead.

Kansas City, 5-4, tied it with a power-play goal from their leading scorer, Leo Gibson, less than two minutes later, but Moojen buried a left-footed bomb from deep in the left corner with 65 seconds to go in the third to put Florida back on top 5-4.

Rapha Nascimento upped the visitor's edge to 6-4 with a short-handed goal 2:22 into the final period, and Anthony Arico added his own short-handed goal exactly 90 seconds later -- Florida's first man down goals of the season –  to make it 7-4. Florida was whistled for a team-record five penalties in the game. Nascimento added his second at the 9:29 mark of the fourth to close the Tropics scoring.