A four-goal display from Rian Marques was plenty for the Kansas City Comets as they cruised past the Wichita Wings by a final score of 12-1 in Sunday’s exhibition at Cable Dahmer Arena.
Originally scheduled to play a regular-season match with the Baltimore Blast, that matchup got scratched after several positive COVID-19 tests from Baltimore’s camp. Comets player-coach Leo Gibson doesn’t think the game will be made up.
“I doubt it, I think that’s a forfeit,” Gibson said. “I doubt we will play them again. I don’t see why. Either way, we will be okay with it.”
The Comets left eight players out to make way for the trio dealing with visa issues: Rian Marques, Benji Monreal and Felipe Abreu as well the lesser experienced personnel such as Ali Sodal and Absa Solorio.
With goalkeeper Nicolau Neto watching from the stands, Lou Misner was in goal for the first half, conceding one goal, while Mark Saxby kept a second-half shutout for KC.
“Both of them did extremely well,” Gibson said. “All of these guys have been working extremely hard. Day in day out, they’re there every day, they don’t miss a single day. We are very privileged to have the team we have right now. With the guys you just saw play, waiting for their opportunity. You can’t ask for anything better, so I’m grateful for it.”
The Wings put out a mixed lineup that included loans from the St. Louis Ambush and a pair of former Comets Odaine Sinclair and Carlos Trombini.
Mirko Sandivari opened the scoring for KC in the first quarter, followed by goals from Absa Solorio and a pair from Rian Marques to give KC a 4-0 lead after the opening quarter. Still facing a 4-0 deficit the Wings scored their only goal of the game late in the second period when Ambush loanee Howard Miller Jr. cut towards the middle and fired a shot past Misner.
The third quarter was all Comets as the hosts added four to their tally with a pair of goals from Marques in addition to successful efforts from Sodal, Abreu and Monreal to give KC a 9-1 lead headed into the final frame. Nick McDonald put KC into double-digits before Sandivari got his second and Saxby assisted Christian Anderaos as his penalty expired, leaving with a 12-1 final.
“The guys are training just as hard,” Gibson said. “They were hungry so it was good to watch them play.”
Leading the Comets was second-year forward Rian Marques, who scored four goals Sunday. From his last two games inside Cable Dahmer Arena, which were more than a month apart and both against Wichita, Marques has eight goals.
“The energy from the fans makes the game more enjoyable,” Marques said. “It makes the game easier on us. You can definitely feel their energy changing on us and giving us support. Like I said my teammates do a really good job and make it easier for me to score the goals.”
A candidate for Rookie of the Year last season, Marques’ second season has been halted by visa issues, though he said he’s hoping to have them resolved in time for KC’s next game on Dec. 29th against the Milwaukee Wave.
“If it happens, it would be incredible,” Gibson said of the visa issue with Marques. “I mean, the guy has a lot to offer.”
Matt Lewis marked his return from Detroit City FC with an assist on Sunday. His timeframe with the Comets is still to be determined.
“Still a little undecided,” Lewis said. “It’s looking like it’s going to be another short stint. We’ve got to figure things out up in Detroit, but it is looking like it is going to be a short stint... maybe end of January early February kind of situation.”
After this week’s results throughout the MASL, the Comets (3-0) are now three points clear of the second-place St. Louis Ambush (2-2) in the Central Division after the Ambush defeated the Milwaukee Wave (0-1-1). KC is joined by the San Diego Sockers as the only unbeaten teams remaining in the MASL.
The Comets are set to return to the regular season on Wednesday, Dec. 29 when the Milwaukee Wave visit before both teams meet again on New Year's Eve in Wisconsin.