The Kansas City Comets stormed past the Tacoma Stars on Saturday night thanks to a strong defensive effort mixed with quick transitions leading to several goals. After Eddie Na opened the scoring for the Stars in the first quarter, the Comets came storming in with five straight goals from Ray Lee (2), Robert Palmer, Leo Gibson, and Lucas Rodriguez. Nick Perera scored a goal that gave the Comets something to think about, but Adam James quickly restored the four goal advantage before Palmer got his second of the night, Kiel Williams scored, and Lee finished his hat trick to fire the Comets to a big 9-2 win.
Here are four findings from the game:
- Improved Defense
This was the most impressive outing from the Comets defense this season. After a first quarter where they appeared to be on the ropes several times, they turned the tables and gave Tacoma the knockout blow.
Goalkeeper Lou Misner, making his professional debut in place of the injured Mark Saxby, looked very sharp. He made some very impressive stops and took care of the ball very well for a player in his first competitive game. Defensively, Kansas City looked very sharp, which showed as Nick Perera, the league’s reigning MVP, had limited chances in front of goal.
- Multiple Offensive Contributors
Last season the Comets had one main target in front of goal, and that was Leo Gibson. This season, Gibson is still their main target and still very productive, but they have also had greater production from other players.
The Comets have six players with three or more goals in the first six games. Kiel Williams and Ray Lee have especially impressed in the opening six games of the season. If the Comets could get more production out of Ignacio Flores and Lucas Rodriguez, then they could become a very dangerous side.
- Goalkeeper Depth
Misner’s performance has reassured the Comets that they might not have someone as experienced and talented as Danny Waltman was, but they do now have three keepers who have proven their ability to play at a very high level this season (Steven Hamersky, Saxby, and Misner).
The long-term answer to the starting keeper still might not be known, as the Comets also await the approval of Nicolau Neto’s visa. The Columbia College graduate is rumored to be the best of the bunch.
- Crucial Upcoming Games
After another big game against the St. Louis Ambush on New Year’s Eve, 2020 will give the Comets three consecutive home games, including two against the Milwaukee Wave. The Comets will need to string some victories together if they want to make a postseason run.
With such a hot start from the Florida Tropics and a slow start for the Baltimore Blast, the Comets could be fighting with those two teams as well as St. Louis and the Harrisburg Heat for a spot in the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.