Big offensive, defensive second-half effort lifts Tropics to 8-4 win over Dallas Sidekicks
ALLEN, Texas -- A big two-way effort in the second half helped the Florida Tropics snap a three-game losing streak as they broke a 4-4 halftime tie to roll to an 8-4 win in Major Arena Soccer League action Saturday night.
Ricardo Carvalho scored twice -- one on a beautiful bicycle kick near the top left corner of the box to give Florida a 3-2 lead -- and Vini Dantas also added a pair as Florida improved to 7-4-2 on the season, good for second place in the Eastern Division.
Milwaukee leads the east with 23 points while the Tropics sit at 21 points, but have played three more games than the Wave. Kansas City, who Florida will meet in two of their next three games, is at 20 points, but have played four more games that the Tropics. The hard luck Sidekicks fell to 0-11-2
"That was our best overall effort in a long time. I liked our pace, we played smart and our defensive effort overall -- to shut any team out for the last two and a half quarters of a game is impressive-- was the result of all our guys being on the same page and playing for each other" -- HEAD COACH CLAY ROBERTS
"That was our best overall effort in a long time. I liked our pace, we played smart and our defensive effort overall -- to shut any team out for the last two and a half quarters of a game is impressive -- was the result of all our guys being on the same page and playing for each other."
Florida's Chris Frederick got his third win in goal in as many starts, facing 20 Sidekicks shots, while blasting away with 30 of their own. Frederick lowered his goals against average to an impressive 3.67 with an equally as strong saves percentage of .744.
"He came up with big saves when we needed them, and he got a lot of support from all the guys in front of him," Roberts added. "It's how we want to play the game every time out and I'm confident going forward we're going to see more performances like this."
Carvalho added two assists for a four-point night. Ricardo Diegues had a goal and an assist. Drew Ruggles got a power play goal five minutes into the second half which proved to be the game winner, the eighth of his career. Bren Olivera and Thiago Freitas also scored for Florida.
The Tropics will be on the road to wrap up a season-long five-game road trip with stops next Friday in Kansas City and Saturday in St. Louis before returning home Feb. 19 to take on the Comets again.