Fast start not enough as Tropics fall in Harrisburg

by Brian Ackley

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A disastrous second quarter was too much for the Florida Tropics to overcome Friday night as they fell to the Harrisburg Heat, 7-4, at the State Farm Show Arena.

The Tropics had one of their best quarters of the young Major Arena Soccer League Season in the first, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Marco Rodriguez and Ricardo Diegues as they peppered Heat netminder Hugo Silva with 10 shots, the total amount of shots Florida had in a loss a week ago in Baltimore.

But they followed that with their worst quarter of the season as the hosts scored six times, three by Lucio Gonzaga including one on a penalty shot, as Harrisburg took a 6-3 lead at intermission.

Victor Rojas scored in the third to briefly tie the game at 3-3. Rojas and Diegues are Florida's leading scorers as each have three goals each for the 1-2 Tropics, who got a power-play goal from captain Freddy Moojen in the fourth quarter as well.

The Tropics actually had much of the better play in the second half, outshooting the Heat 7-3 in the final 30 minutes, but Silva was up to the task time and again. Harrisburg improved to 2-2 on the season.

Florida will be on the road again tonight against Syracuse, and back home at the Lakeland Center Dec. 3 against Baltimore.