PARK CITY — The Wichita Wings have had a frustrating start to their season. The Wings lost a 13-point lead in their first game, and then followed it up with another loss to the same team two days later.
So when the Wings fell 12-4 to the Milwaukee Wave on Friday, it was surprising that coach LeBaron Holliman saw promise, rather than discouragement.
“If we can put forth that same type of effort every game we play, we’re going to be on more positive results than negative results,” Holliman said. “If you watched our play from the first two games, our ability, our pressure, our commitment and energy was a lot higher today. If we bring that to all of our other games we’ll be OK.”
The Wings never had a lead against two-time defending champion Milwaukee, but they never let the Wave make it a blowout.
The Wings were missing midfielder Jamar Beasley, who endured a concussion Sunday against the Comets. Starting goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvalho did not play Friday — Holliman said he wanted to allow him time to rest.
Holliman said this Wings team simply needed time to learn how to play better as a team.
“It has to start with self belief, and we’ve got to come together as a unit. We’ve got players, and we’ve got great individuals, we’re just not clicking well,” Holliman said. “We’ve got to find that common ground there.”
Milwaukee scored less than two minutes into the game, and followed up with another goal with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Wichita cut Milwaukee’s lead when Geison Moura scored with eight seconds remaining in the first quarter, after finishing Tiguinho’s back post pass. The Wings did not carry the offensive momentum into the next two quarters.
“We’ve got to get better especially offensively, we’ve got to get more goals. We can’t just rely on (Moura) or Tiguinho, because this is a team. Everybody’s got to get forward and get back,” Moura said.
The Wings’ frustration peaked when the failed to score with a two-man advantage alte in the third and early in the fourth.
“When it was five vs. three we should have got a goal at that point,” Holliman said. “We had the numerical advantage so we should have got a goal, but we created chances to where we should have scored, we didn’t, and that’s the frustrating part.”
Wichita held Milwaukee to 12 points after allowing 18 and 19 in its first two games.
“You definitely learn more in a loss than you do by winning all the time,” Holliman said. “These first three losses have allowed us to see where our deficiencies are, what areas we need to work on, and hopefully allow us to be a better team moving forward.”
Scoring—Milwaukee, Perera (unassisted), 1:56; Milwaukee, Moreira (Bennett), 9:25; Wichita, Moura (Tiguinho), 14:52.
Scoring—Milwaukee, Santos (Ollveria), 4:01. Penalties—Wichita, Moojen (too many men), 7:29.
Scoring—Milwaukee, Moreira (free kick), 4:35; Milwaukee, Greenfiled (Vorberg), 7:09. Penalties—Wichita, Moojen (too many men), 2:15; Milwaukee, McNeley (boarding), 13:38; Milwaukee, Hammes (pushing), 14:18.
Scoring—Wichita, Moura (Tiguinho), 6:36; Milwaukee, Oliviero (Greenfield), 8:06.
Shots—Milwaukee 4-3-6-1—14; Wichita 1-3-9-4—17.
Goalies—Milwaukee, Vorberg 15 saves on 17 shots; Wichita, Martinez 8-14.