The Kansas City Comets split the two-game series this weekend with the Dallas Sidekicks, marching to a 13-6 win in KC on Friday before falling on the road 8-3.
Friday’s come-from-behind win for the Comets was powered with a pair of five-goal quarters. A 7-1 run in the first half tilted the game in KC’s favor.
Facing a 2-0 deficit early in the first quarter, the Comets offense came flying in to outscore the Sidekicks 5-1 in the final 10 minutes of the opening quarter. Since being traded from the St. Louis Ambush, Richard Schmermund scored his first Comets goal towards the end of the first.
Comets starting keeper Lou Misner exited the game with an injury towards the end of the first. Replacing him was Nicolau Neto, nursing a left knee sprain.
Schmermund added his second Comes tally early in the second quarter before Lucas Sousa and Luiz Moralez exchanged goals, sending the Comets to halftime with a 7-4 lead.
Kansas City’s second five-goal quarter came in the third period. Sousa finished off his hat trick with a pair in the third. After KC’s fourth of the quarter, Sebastian Mendez pulled one back for Dallas. Lesia Thetsane restored KC’s seven-goal advantage 16 seconds later as the Comets took a 12-5 lead going into the fourth.
Thetsane finished off his five-point performance with his third goal of the night for KC before Bradlee Baladez scored for Dallas as they dropped their fifth straight road match, losing by a final score of 13-6.
Friday’s win was the fourth time the Comets reached double-digits this season, scoring a season-high 13 goals. It was also the fourth win over Dallas this season and the eighth straight win over the Sidekicks in the regular season.
“It depends on us showing up and playing to our full potential,” Comets player-coach Leo Gibson said. “Both ends of the field. Putting away our chances. Limiting mistakes.”
That is what didn’t happen on Sunday. Some sloppy turnovers and poor finishing allowed the Sidekicks to come away with their second-ever win over the Comets.
With a chance to clinch a playoff birth on Sunday, the Comets’ road woes continued as they dropped their fourth straight match away from home, losing 8-3.
Sunday started off well as KC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Thetsane and Sousa. After Dallas pulled level, Rian Marques put the visitors ahead once more with his 17th goal of the season.
After Marques’ goal, the Comets' offense fell silent. The Sidekicks added a pair to take a 4-3 lead into halftime. Doubling the lead in the third quarter with a goal from Jamie Lovegrove, the Sidekicks made sure to take all three points with an additional three goals in the fourth to take the 8-3 win over KC.
The Comets (11-5-1; 35 points) end the week as it started eight points clear of Dallas. It would take a disaster for the Comets to miss the playoffs.
As KC’s eight-game winning streak over Dallas comes to an end, the Comets’ poor road performances continue as they conceded eight goals in their fourth straight road game while not scoring more than five in a road game since January.
With very limited mobility, Neto was credited with 15 saves Sunday despite his discomfort.
Thetsane provided some promising signs, ending the weekend with a total of seven points from four goals and three assists. The rookie’s five-point performance on Friday was a career-high.
“I’m starting to get the rhythm,” Thetsane said after Friday’s win. “Thanks to my teammates for always helping me during practice. Come gameday, they are still there for me.”
With six games remaining in the regular season, the Comets will welcome the Milwaukee Wave to town on Friday, March 11.