Down went the Monterrey Flash. The Sonora Soles ended their 21-game winning streak and perfect season last Wednesday with a 10-8 win at home after trailing 3-0.
Then on Saturday, the Soles went totally frickin’ crazy scoring 23 times to beat El Paso 23-13 in the highest scoring game in PASL/MASL history. Franck Tayou had seven goals in that game and set a new PASL/MASL record with 64 on the season, topping the 57 he scored last year. With 11 wins in their last 12 games, the Soles are the hottest team in the MASL and have beaten three of the four division leaders along the way.
The Milwaukee Wave and Baltimore Blast will have an almost winner-take-all game Friday to perhaps decide who has home field advantage in the Eastern Conference finals. Both teams are 15-4 and the season series is even 1-1 thanks to Milwaukee’s impressive 5-1 win over the Blast Saturday before a season-high 5,978. The Blast had the inside track on the best conference record before losing in Cedar Rapids Friday and Milwaukee on Saturday.
Player-wise Gordy Gurson is on fire with 24 points in his last seven games, including the game-winning goal against Baltimore with 41 seconds left in the game. He set Rampage season records for goals and points on the way to a 13-point three-game weekend.
With Baltimore’s losses, the San Diego Sockers sneaked back up into the #2 spot, while the Wave moved up and the Blast moved down and they met in the middle at #3. Cedar Rapids moved up to #7, passing flagging Florida.
Thanks to the Ontario Fury’s convincing win over the Tacoma Stars, the Fury momentarily ascended to #8, while Tacoma fell to #10. That tenuous seeding is pending this Friday’s big rematch between the two teams that will decide the season series between the teams.
Besides Baltimore/Milwaukee and Tacoma/Ontario, Friday also brings us Turlock/Rio Grande Valley, which could determine the #16 spot for the MASL’s ultimate cellar dweller.
|The Flash lost a regular season game for the first time in over three years, but their grip on #1 was saved by not one, but two Baltimore losses.|
|The Sockers swept Florida twice on the road, avoiding letdowns that have plagued them in the past.|
|A nine-game winning streak turned into a a mini crisis after road losses in Cedar Rapids and Milwaukee left them tied with the Wave for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.|
|The Wave and Blast clash Friday in the rubber match of their season series that could determine who hosts the Conference Final, should both teams advance past the first round.|
|The Soles started 2-6, but have beaten Monterrey, Milwaukee, and San Diego as part of 11 wins in their last 12 games.|
|Four strategically timed wins against St. Louis will enhance anyone’s resume, but the Silver Knights are a formidable team.|
|The Rampage have beaten Milwaukee (on their 4th try) and the Blast (on their 3rd try) and will finish the season with a second crack at Monterrey, but they have won five of their last seven overall.|
|Leonardo De Oliviero is back, but Friday’s game against Tacoma is a must-win.|
|An ice age has gripped the Tropics and Heat in the Eastern Division.|
|If you take Turlock out of the mix the Stars are a 5-11 team this year, but they still control their own destiny and can clinch a playoff spot by winning their last two games, or if they beat Ontario and Ontario loses to San Diego.|
|The Coyotes scored 13 goals and still lost by 10 in Sonora, eliminating them from playoff contention, but a nine-win improvement is still laudable.|
|The Heat got so bad that Kansas City had no choice but to overtake them in the rankings.|
|Seven straight losses and few positives to latch on to.|
|Just when it looked like the Ambush were making some small incremental progress, three more losses pile up.
|Rio Grande Valley got embarrascuda’d by a Rampage team that had played two previous games over the weekend and only dressed 13 players.|
|The Express played a competitive game against Tacoma, but still lost their 13th straight.|