The Missouri Comets undefeated season rolls on. Friday night, in front of over 4,500 fans at the Independence Events Center, Vahid Assadpour earned his second straight hat trick on the way to a Comets 7-5 victory. Goalkeeper Stephen Paterson earns his first MASL victory after signing with the team earlier this week.
"I had fun, you know maybe there was a couple goals I didn't want to let in," said Paterson. "But that's all right. We fought hard until the end. It was an exciting game for me and I think we all played our hearts out."
Paterson started Friday's match in relief of veteran goalkeeper Danny WAltman, who injured his ankle in the second half of last week's match. The goalkeeper has trained with the Canadian National Team and Sporting Kansas City, but the indoor game is a different animal.
"Other than putting the ball into a goal, it's a completely different game," Paterson said when asked his thoughts on indoor soccer. "It's a lot quicker game, more one-on-one defending and individual matchups. But for me, its an exciting game."
Paterson's teammates did the best to lessen the excitement for him in his debut. Assadpour gave him an almost immediate lead, scoring the game's opening goal 54 seconds into the match. Brian Harris and Andre Braithwaite each added another score before St. Louis managed to get a shot on goal. By the end of the first period, the Comets held a 4-0 advantage.
St. Louis cut that lead in half in the second quarter. Chris Mattingly and Adrian Gabeljic scored the only two goals of the period.
Whether it was an attempt to protect their lead and their goalkeeper, the Comets rarely showed the high pressure attacking strategy throughout the second and third quarters. St. Louis used that to their advantage as they were able to hold the Comets to only one goal in those quarters, one of Missouri's lowest scoring outputs of the season.
Assadpour closed out his hat trick with two goals the fourth quarter, his third score with less than a minute gave the Comets an insurmountable 7-4 lead. Kory Dowell was able to score an incredible goal from a bad angle after that, but it still left his team down two goals with only 26 seconds to play, a virtually impossible task against even a depleted Comets defense.
Goran Koradzov won his second game as acting coach. Vlatko Andonvski missed the match as the final game of his suspension stemming from the Milwaukee game.
"To be honest, it's great feeling (to get first home win as coach)," said Karadzov. "It maybe wasn't best win, but win is win."
The Comets are averaging over 11 goals per game this season, but haven't been able to get above 10 goals in three of their past four games. They travel to face Monterrey who is fourth in the league in scoring. The team hopes to have some of their scoring power back with the return of several injured players. Ramone Palmer, Max Touloute and Milan Ivanovic have all missed time recently with various injuries and all three are expected to return. The outlook on defender Coady Andrews is not as positive. Currently there is no expected return date for him as the staff is still evaluating the full extent of his injury.
Goalkeeper Danny Waltman is also expected back, but Paterson is ready to go if needed,
"If need be, I'm here to back up Danny and do what I can," said Paterson. "I'm happy to be here and want to help this team win another championship."