Rochester Lancers, Iowa Demon Hawks look to finish perfect year in MASL 2 Championship Game

Two teams with perfect seasons so far -- the Iowa Demon Hawks and Rochester Lancers -- will look for a perfect ending to the 2023-24 season when they meet Sunday for the Major Arena Soccer League 2 championship.

In a thrilling day of pro indoor soccer, Iowa scored five goals in the game's first nine minutes, and then had to withstand an inspired rally from the Amarillo Bombers to punch their ticket to Sunday's finals.

Meanwhile. Rochester had a similar route, jumping to a three-goal lead in the opening minutes, and ended up getting the game winner in overtime againstt a determined Wichita Wings side, to earn their spot in the title game.

Both Rochester and Iowa had perfect 12-0 regular seasons, but only one can finish a perfect year. 

Following is a recap of the action Saturday.

In a game that was much closer than the final might have indicated, Iowa never trailed after scoring five goals in the game's first nine minutes.

But no less than three times, Amarillo fought back to cut the deficit to one, but never did find the equalizer. The last was at 8-7, just a minute into the fourth period on a goal by David Trevizo. But Iowa had an answer from Thiago Freitas, MASL 2's Offensive Player of the Year, who made it 9-7 with just under six minutes to go. 

Freitas earned first star of the game honors with two goals and two assists. Luan Silva also had two goals and two assists while Bruno Henrique and Joao Vitor chipped in with a goal and two assists each.

Rene Loya was sensational for Amarillo. Last year's playoffs MVP with Chihuahua, Loya had three goals and three assists to lead the Bombers. Trevizo had a two-goal game as well. 

Rainer Hauss won his 13th straight in goal for the Demon Hawks, and was especially big in the final 15 minutes when Amarillo outshot the Hawks, 10-3. Hauss was credited with eight saves. For the game, Amarillo outshot Iowa 31-26.


Rochester spoiled the home party for Wichita, getting the game winner from Tanner Bay in ovetimes to advance.

The Lancers only trailed once, and that came after leading 7-4. Wichita's Caique Trivelato scored with 5:39 to go to give the Wings a 9-8 lead, capping off a string of four of the game's prior five goals to the homestanding Wings. 

But Rochester went to a sixth-attacker with over three minutes to play, and was rewarded on an Andrew Hoxie redirect goal with 1:19 to play to force overtime, when Bay finished off a pretty set piece in the Wichita offensive end. 

That spoiled a magnificent effort from Wings forward Mehrshad Ahmadi, who had five goals and one assist. Caique Trivelato added two goals and two assists.

Ali Alomari led the Rochester attack with three goals and one assist. Hoxie finished with two goals and one assist while Rodrigo Almeida scored twice. Wichita held a healthy edge in shots on goal at 37-21, as winning netminder Jakeb MItchell was credited with an impressive 26 saves. 

The Wings tied it at 4-4 in the first minute of the second half on a goal by Ahmadi, but a six-minute stretch later in the quarter led to a pair of Lancer power play goals, and a third on a laser from  Almeida with 4:37 to go in the quarter put Rochester up 7-4. The three goals came in a span of just over two minutes. 

In the consolation game, St. Louis Ambush 2 notched their fifth win of the year, rolling to a 7-1 lead at intermission and cruising from there.

Brennon Austin had a hat trick, while Aamahn Murvin and Tristan Austin each added two goals and two assists for St. Louis. Player/Coach Donnie Alberty dressed for the first time all season, and had two goals. 

Orlando's Daniel Vielma Duque scored two, while teammate Charly Vargas had a goal and three assists. Victor Rada Yibrin had a goal and an assist.