PARK CITY — Once again, the Missouri Comets and Wichita Wings played right down to the wire.
But unlike their last match Dec. 30, the Wings couldn't pull out a victory, as the Comets scored three unassisted fourth-quarter goals — one with a two-man advantage — and beat the Wings 13-10 on Saturday night at Hartman Arena.
The game was physical all night, fitting for a game between two archrivals.
"A good, old-fashioned rivalry," Wings coach LeBaron Hollimon said afterward. "Lot of up-and-down, heated action."
The last two times the teams played, Wichita had taken an early lead, only to see Missouri storm back. This time, the Comets jumped to an early lead, scoring 2:22 into the game on a three-point goal by Brian Harris.
"It was a different game today, they got the lead," Hollimon said, "but my guys showed good resiliency to keep fighting back and had the lead at some point. But that's the way indoor goes."
The Wings answered 2:51 into the second quarter on an unassisted goal by Tijani Ayegbusi, who was playing for the first time since November because of injury. He also finished with two assists.
"He's been hungry," Hollimon said."... he's had two good weeks of training and he's been very hungry, and his experience and composure showed tonight. He was very good value for the money tonight."
The teams traded goals the rest of the period, with Freddy Moojen — who scored three of Wichita's five goals — and Alargie Jobe scoring for the Wings.
In Wichita's return to indoor soccer this season, Hollimon said the team has shown improvement, but he acknowledged it has a long way to go.
"In fairness to my guys, we are showing very good progress for an expansion team," he said, "but I don't like using that."
The "I-35 Series" was wrapped up with the Comets' victory, but the rivalry remains strong, as players scuffled briefly afterward and had to be separated behind the west goal.
Hollimon said the bitterness of losing Saturday could give the Wings some incentive in the final match between the teams next Saturday at Kansas City's Sprint Center.
"Out of all those games (this season), there was only one game where the team won handily," he said. "Every other game has been one kick of the ball from the game going the other way, the other team winning."
Jobe left the game with a hamstring injury with 3:45 left in the third quarter and did not return. Hollimon said doctors would look at it and determine his status for next Saturday.
"We're hoping it's just something tight and he'll be able to go," Hollimon said.
Comets coach Kim Roentved said it was a matchup of two good teams with a lot of desire.
"You can't expect anything less than getting down to the wire," he said. "The game is not over in the second or the third quarter; it's over in the last few seconds. And that's the way it has been for the four games prior to this one. It's a good time, it's a fun time, the crowd is excited and the players are excited — never mind that I'm having a heart attack in between but that's the way it goes."
Missouri3 4 0 6 — 13 Wichita 0 6 2 2 — 10
First quarter — 1. Harris, M, (unassisted) 12:38.
Second quarter — 2. Ayegbusi, W, (unassisted) 12:09. 3. Neto, M, (Assadpour) 9:18. 4. Moojen, W, (Lemons) 8:49. 5. Alvarez (pp), M, (unassisted) 5:36. 6. Jobe, W, (Ayegbusi) 5:16. Penalties — Quiroz, W, (boarding) 7:16; Gibson, M, (tripping), 0:55.
Third quarter — 7. Moojen, W, (Ayegbusi), 5:42.
Fourth quarter — 8. Geison, M (unassisted), 14:23. 9. Moojen, W (unassisted), 7:22. 10. Tiguinho, M, (unassisted), 4:34. 11. Geison (pp), M (unassisted), 1:40. Penalties — Beasley, W (tripping), 3:33; Worley, W (tripping), 1:48.
Shots — Missouri 15-13—28, Wichita 24-16—40. Power plays — Missouri 2 of 3, Wichita 0-1.
Goalies — Missouri, Waltman 24 shots, 19 saves; Wichita, Carvalho, 15 shots, 9 saves.
T—2:05. A— 4,000 (est.)