Crunch continue to be beasts of the East; Omaha sets up mid-year first place showdown with Wichita

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Cleveland Crunch continued to be "Beasts of the East", and the Omaha Kings set up a major mid-season showdown with the Wichita Wings next weekend as seven games provided plenty of weekend highlights in Major Arena Soccer League 2 action.

The Crunch swept a doubleheader from the Chicago Mustangs, with homestanding Cleveland scoring 27 goals in two games to entertain their usual large and enthusiastic crowds. 

Meanwhile, both Omaha and Wichita won over the weekend to each improve to 5-1 atop the Midwest division, with the two teams set to tangle at Hartman Arena Saturday night in a battle for undisputed supremacy -- at least for now -- in that division.

Wichita rolled into Colorado Springs, and came home with a 19-7 win over the Inferno (0-6),. The Wings led only 5-3 in the second quarter before a huge offensive outburst put the game out of reach. Juan Zamora led the charge with four goals and two assists. Others with multi-goal games included David Lucio and Alfonso Lopez who each had hat trickes, while Kevin Ten Eyck and Peter Espinoza had two goals each. Francisco Rivas had a pair of scores for the Inferno.

Pedro Augusto was the "man of the match" for the Omaha Kings in their 9-6 win over a tough Amarillo Bombers squad. Although OMaha never actually trailed, the Bombers were as close as 7-6 in the final minute of the third quarter before Augusto and Say Say closed out the scoring with the only two goals of the fourth, making a winner in goal out of Efren Flores. Augusto finished the night with five goals and an assist, while Say Say had two goals. Amrillo was led by Miguel Reyes who scored twice. 

The best game of the weekend was at Mercy Health Arena in Muskegon, where the "Rise and Grind" Muskegon Risers did just that, rose from a late deficit to tie the game with under two minutes to play on a goal by Brandon Edwards to pave the way for an overtime winner from Miguel Flores in its 7-6 win over the BC Swerve. 

The Cincinnati-based Swerve had one-goal leads on no less than four times in the game, while twice the Risers had one-goal advantages in regulation time. Flores was the offensive hero, getting three goals, while the Swerve got two goal games from Eric Moser and Abe Kanneh.

Turlock (1-2) broke into the win column with a solid win over the Ontario Fury 2, 9-6. An Ontario goal by Joey Pacheco early in the fourth gave Ontario a 6-5 lead, before the Express rallied for the final four goals of the game gave the hosts the W. 

Martyn Arists was on fire for Turlock, netting two goals and picking up three assists, getting help along the way from teammates Jesse Arevalo and Armando Fernandez who had two goals apiece. Mo Gueye led the Fury (2-3) attack with two goals.

The Crunch improved to 5-0 as the defending league champions- got wins of 15-3 and 12-5 over Chicago on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Admir Suljevic led the way on Saturday with four goals and two assists, while Mike Dezeric added three goals and two assists. Admir Suljevic and Ryan Minick added two goals each. Cleveland was credited with an amazing 70 shots on goal, while Chicago got 28 away at defending M2 Goalkeeper of the Year  Marijo Musa who played just the first three quarters.

On Sunday, the Crunch raced to a 5-1 first quarter lead and Chicago never was able to get any closer. Suljevic led the way once again, this time collecting three goals and three assists for his second consecutive six-point game. Dezereic had a goal and three assists, and Rylan Wikle and Dave Jordan added two goals each. Chicago got two goals each from Ricardo Orozco and Miguel Vaca.