Omaha, Amarillo stay alive for M2's final playoff spot; Crunch complete undefeated regular season
TAMPA,. Fla. -- The Amairllo Bombers and Omaha Kings both held serve in the race for the final Major Arena Soccer League 2 playoff spot over the weekend, with Amarillo scoring a big home win, and the Kings splitting games on a diffcult Southern California doubleheader.
The Kings opened their pair of games with a 12-5 win over Ontario, and held a one-goal lead midway through the fourth quarter before falling to San Diego 11-9. Meanwhile, the Bombers rolled past Turlock, 12-4, to improve to 6-5 on the season, while Omaha improved to 6-3.
Wichita is already set to host the Midwest division playoff game on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. CDT at Hartman Arena. The Kings can wrap up the final spot by winning their home and away matchup with 1-9 Colorado this coming weekend. However, a split of those games would keep Amarillo alive, with the Bombers hosting Omaha on Sunday. If the two teams were to finish at 7-5, they would go to a goal differential tie-breaker, since head-to-head is the first tiebreaker and both teams would have one game against the other. Currently Omaha's goal differential is +26 while Amarillo's is +8.
The Sockers 2 and Kings went back and forth Sunday, Neither team ever held more than a one-gaol lead in the entire game until Dallin Cutler scored with 6:13 remaining in the fourth to give the Sockers a two-goal "cushion". In all, there were nine tie scores and four lead changes in the game.
Alan Crespo had four goals and two assists to lead the Sockers attack. Kevin Aviles and Cutler had two goals each. Eight different Kings players scored a goal, with Manny Lira getting two to lead the way for Omaha.
Amarillo built a 5-1 lead by the half and poured it on from there in defeating Turlock, who had lost the night prior to the New Mexico Runners in Albuquerque. Gabe Williams and Julio Molina both had hat tricks for the Bombers while Armando Fernandez had a pair for the Express.
The Runners used a five-goal outburst by Mehrshad Ahmadi in their 12-5 win over Turlock on Saturday. Skylar Rose added four goals as well. Turlock got a pair from Anthony Valencia.
The defending-champion Crunch continue to be the team to beat as they look for a second-straight title, already having earned a berth in the league's Championship Weekend by virtue of being the overall No. 1 seed in M2 following a 12-0 regular season.
The Crunch put the icing on their "perfecto" with a 22-2 thumping of the BC Swere. The Crunch outshot the Swere 75-18.
Mike Derezic led the way with six goals while Gabriel Pewu had four and Sami Mutemwa chipped in with three. Admir Suljevic had a six-point night with two goals and four assists.
With the Midwest still to be decided. two playoff games are all set to go the first weekend in April, with the Muskegon Risers hosting the Chicago Mustangs on Saturday, April 2 at Mercy Health Arena in Muskegon. Ticket information HERE.
Also, San Diego will be hosting the RGV Barracudas on Sunday, April 3 at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Game and ticket information can be found HERE.