Sonora has only won two of their last three games to improve to 3-5, but due to a confluence of events, the Soles jumped from #13 to #8 this week. They have one shot to become legitimate contenders and if they lose to the Ontario Fury Saturday at home, that window might slam shut.
Ontario’s season could likely be at stake this week as well with Sonora and two Monterrey games in the offing. The Fury can’t afford to fall to 2-7, even as poorly as the Mesquite Outlaws, Tacoma Stars, and Turlock Express are playing.
In a Power Rankings rarity, a team that didn’t lose fell a spot. The idle Utica City boys didn’t drop so much as the Florida Tropics moved up after beating the Baltimore Blast for the second time this year.
Looking ahead, the Stars and Express play a crucial game Friday, and Saturday has the aforementioned Soles-Fury game. Sunday, the Harrisburg Heat travel to Utica for the third and final time this season looking for their first win against someone besides the Rochester Lancers.
Last Week: 1
The Flash went big on St. Louis, 15-6, and small on Turlock, 6-3, to improve to 8-0, despite missing Edgar Gonzalez the last four games. Hugo Puentes has filled in with nine points in four games since joining the team in a trade.
The Wave keep carrying on without key players. Luan Oliveira already has one more goal than he did all last season in 15 less games, and Max Ferdinand is on pace for a career-high 58 points. “Back-up” goalie Rafa Dias leads the MASL with a 3.02 GAA among qualified starters.
The Sockers are weathering injuries while squeaking through their schedule. Their modest +13 goal differential belies a 7-1 record. Kraig Chiles and Brandon Escoto are way off their usual production, and Chiles has been in and out of the lineup. Whether or not this type of play is sustainable will be exposed when the team embarks on a suicidal six-game road trip later this month.
The Tropics picked up their third signature win of the year, rallying to defeat the Blast 7-6 in OT. The rest of the schedule looks very winnable aside from single meetings with San Diego and Milwaukee.
The Blast were more than “in” their game against Florida, leading 6-4 in the fourth quarter, but the mystique seems to be wearing off. Baltimore is still an odds on favorite to make the playoffs, but they are at five losses, after losing no more than seven times in any of their last nine seasons.
Five wins against Rochester later, the Heat’s season is about to finally begin (after one more Lancers game).
Sonora has a very small chance to jump back into the playoff race. They are playing better than the other teams who are vying for the 3rd and 4th seeds in the Western Conference, but the Soles already have five losses and their final five games alone are all against Utica and Monterrey, so now is the time to bank a few wins and build a cushion…or fall hopelessly out of the race.
It’s still early and the losses have been close, but with Sonora and a home and home with Monterrey coming up, it’s wholly conceivable that the Fury will be staring down the barrel of a 2-7 record.
Losing handily to the Tacoma Stars at home was definitely a blow to the progression of a first year team that we expected to go to the playoffs. The offense continues to be a problem, but Tacoma is the first team to expose their defense.
The schedule forgot about these guys for a while, but after a 15-day break, the Express lost with honor in Monterrey, but fell to the familiar side of .500 with their fourth loss in five games.
After the MetroStars folded, the Ambush were forced to reroute to Mexico and it didn’t go well. Due to various immigration issues, the Ambush traveled with a less-than-representative roster and a goalkeeper whose pro indoor resume included two previous appearances in 2014-15. Hewerton overplayed the sixth attacker card and his team suffered eight empty net goals in the two games.
There has been a trend this year of teams competing for two or three quarters and then getting blown out in the second half. This was one of those games with the Comets trailing only 3-2 after 49 minutes, but winding up with an 8-3 loss.
Tacoma got a much needed win in Mesquite, but then couldn’t get much going against 1-7 Dallas.
Dallas lost to Mesquite again but picked up an emotional win Sunday for Freddy Moojen, whose father died suddenly on Saturday.
Rochester kept things respectable against Harrisburg Saturday after allowing 17 goals to Florida the night before.