For five years, the face of the Missouri Comets was goalkeeper Danny Waltman. In his first game back at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena since he returned to his hometown Tacoma Stars, the Comets were anything but welcoming. Eight different players scored for Missouri on the way to a 12-5 victory for the home side.
Missouri's record unbeaten streak was snapped in an exciting emotional overtime match last week against their rival Milwaukee Wave. After such a draining loss, some wondered how the team would respond this week against a team that they beat 17-1 last season.
Lucas Rodriguez scored only 1:29 into the game, easing some concern. However, in the 27:54 that followed, the team was only able to muster two shots on goal with neither one finding the back of the net. Meanwhile the scrappy Tacoma Stars took advantage of some defensive lapses to score a couple quick goals and take a 2-1 lead.
"It was very important to win the game, the best way to overcome a loss is to win again and you can put everything behind," Comets head coach Vlatko Andonovski stated after the match. "I wasn’t happy with our performance the first quarter but it seems like our guys are experienced enough that they realize when they need to turn it up a notch and that is what they did. After the first quarter it was very obvious which way the game was going."
To date, Vlatko Andonovski's Comets had not seen an opponent who gave no regard for position, form or organized attack. The Stars' strategy seemingly was to live in the back pocket of any Comets player with the ball and try to force mistakes they could capitalize on.
Midway through the second quarter, the home side found the right adjustments. Milan Ivanovic, Bryan Perez and Robert Palmer scored three goals in 72 seconds. The Comets never looked back after that.
Waltman's Stars were never able to crawl back in the second half as the Comets controlled every phase of the game. Robert Palmer and Leo Gibson scored two goals, preceded by one each from Perez, Rodriguez, John Sosa, and team captain Vahid Assadpour.
The Comets are on the road next week as they visit the Waza Flo for the first time in franchise history. They finish 2015 with two Central Division games against St. Louis and Cedar Rapids.