Our very own Major Arena Soccer League team, the Orlando SeaWolves, opened the first game of their inaugural season with a tough loss in a penalty shootout, 5-4, against the St. Louis Ambush.
“From a character standpoint, really proud of the players,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said after the game, “Proud of the leadership they showed inside the group. No, it’s not the result we want, we have some things we have to clean up as well, but we’ll get to work on that on Monday.”
Orlando started the game on the front foot, controlling the ball early on. However, it was St. Louis that opened the scoring at the 6:50 mark in the first quarter, forcing the SeaWolves to play from behind throughout most of the first half.
The lead lasted until early in the second quarter when former Orlando City player Luke Boden put away the chance in front of goal to level the game at 1-1. St. Louis would re-take the lead just five minutes later after Antonio Manfut scored off a turnover, which ended up sidelining goalkeeper and assistant coach Piotr Sliwa for the game, forcing backup Rainer Hauss into action.
St. Louis was able to score once again before half to make it a 3-1 lead for the Ambush heading into the locker rooms.
The third quarter started quickly for the SeaWolves as the captain, Gordy Gurson, was able to pull one back to cut the deficit to just one. The game then went into the fourth with Orlando still trailing, but Lewis Neal was able to put one in the back of the net off the board to tie the game at three.
Seconds after the goal, St. Louis once again took back the lead after Jerjer Gibson got on a rebound off of a Hauss save.
The game remained in the control of the away team until a long distance strike from former Ambush player Dylan Hundelt tied the game with just over four minutes left to go in the match.
Thanks to some great saves from Rainer Hauss, the game remained tied and headed into overtime. Once again, Hauss made some crucial saves to keep the game level and head to a penalty shootout.
The shootout started with a miss from Ambush’s Pepe Junqueira and a make from Richard Schmermund, but after two makes from St. Louis a miss from Orlando’s Tyler Turner, Gordy Gurson’s effort was saved and the Ambush came away with the victory.
The SeaWolves will now have a week off before they host the defending champion Baltimore Blast on Friday, December 14 at 7:35 p.m. EST.
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