Diegues scores four, but season ends with 14-8 defeat in Syracuse

by Brian Ackley

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Ricardo Diegues set a franchise record with four goals Sunday, but it was not enough as the Florida Tropics SC fell to the Syracuse Silver Knights, 14-8, to bring to a close the team's first ever season in the Major Arena Soccer League.

The team was in the playoff hunt right up to this final three-games-in-three-days weekend, but losses Friday and Saturday night in Harrisburg ended the playoff dream. The Tropics concluded their inaugural season at 8-12, tied with the Silver Knights for third place in the eastern division.

Diegues had hat tricks twice previously this season, and ends the campaign tops on the team in goals with 17 in 16 games played. Freddy Moojen, who missed his first game of the season Sunday, finished with the team lead in  points with 30.

Syracuse got two goals early in the first to take a quick lead, but two goals from Diegues and another from Marco Rodriguez gave the Tropics their only lead of the game, 3-2, with just under five minutes to play in the first quarter. Syracuse then reeled off four straight to take a lead they would never surrender.

Kenardo Forbes led Syracuse with four goals and two assists. Diegues also added an assist for a five-point night, while Victor Parreiras had a pair as well for Florida, which will now take much of its roster outside to the United Soccer League's Premier Development League which will kick off May 11. The Lakeland Tropics home PDL opener will be Saturday, May 20, at Bryant Stadium.