Mustangs OT win, Kings sweep of New Mexico highlight Week 2
TAMPA, Fla. -- A furious second half rally by the Chicago Mustangs that led to a dramatic overtime win, and 50 combined goals between the Omaha Kings and New Mexico Runners highlighted Major Arena Soccer League 2 action in Week two.
The Mustangs trailed 5-3 in the second half before reeling off three straight goals to take a 6-5 lead into the final minute of play. But the Risers weren't done, and Steve Marker tied the game with just eight seconds to go. But Alex Gomez, Chicago's hero who had given them a 6-5 lead with his second goal of the game on the powerplay with 4:35, completed his hat trick by scoring just under four minutes into the extra period.
It was the season-opener for the Mustangs, while Muskegon -- who will open the home portion of their schedule in a rematch against Chicago on Jan. 7 -- falls to 1-1. In addition to the Gomez hat trick, Nestor Rodriguez chipped in with a pair for the winners. Ryan Zietlow banged in his fourth and fifth goals of the season to lead Muskegon's offense.
Goals came fast and furious in Omaha over the weekend as the Kings rallied from a halftime deficit on Friday night with eight goals in the third quarter to defeat the New Mexico Runners, 15-10. The two had a true barn burner Saturday night, a back and forth affair in which neither team had more than a two-goal lead. When the dust had settled, the Kings entertained a packed house with a 13-12 triumph.
Leo Meija had the hat trick to lead Omaha while teammate Manuel Lira had a four-point night with a goal and three assists. All but one of the Kings actually got on the scoresheet, with 10 different players hitting the back of the net. New Mexico's Alejandro Garcia started what turned out to be a huge offensive weekend with four goals and an assists Friday.
On Saturday, Garcia banged in another four goals, while Jobany Villalba had a hat trick. But the Kings had plenty of answers, including a second straight three goal game from Meija who got the game winner with just under three minutes to play. Murilo Ceruli had a goal and three assists to help pace the offense as well. It was the season openers for both teams.
The Wichita Wings -- who advanced to the M2 Championship game last summer -- opened their season with an 11-6 win over the Amarillo Bombers, despite the Texas visitors living up to their monkiker by unleashing 44 shots on Wings netminder Steven Hamersky.
Fan favorite and long-time Wings player Kevin Ten Eyck scored three goals and had an assist, while Eduardo "Benji" Monreal, Bransyn Felty and Jared Robbins contributed with two goals each. Miguel Reyes and Lucca Lima had two each for Amarillo who will be on the road in their next start Jan. 1 in New Mexico. The Wings will host Omaha Jan. 2 in an early-season first-place showdown in the Midwest division.
Western division play opened as well, as the San Diego Sockers 2 defeated the Ontario Fury 2, by a final count of 11-6. Ismael Rojo scored four times to pace the Sockers, while teammate Andy Mendez had a pair of goals. The Fury had it to within 6-5 midway through the third quarter, but never found the equalizer. Bryan Quintanilla led the Fury with his two-goal effort.
The league will be off for the Christmas holiday weekend, with games returning Jan. 1 and 2 with contests in New Mexico, San Diego, Amarillo and Wichita.