Historic 17-4 win puts Tropics back atop Eastern Conference standings; Baltimore next

by Brian Ackley

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A pair of first half goals by team scoring leader Ricardo Carvalho and two by reigning Major Arena Soccer League Rookie of the Year Zack Reget helped the Florida Tropics regain first place in the MASL Eastern Conference with an historic 17-4 win over the Rochester Lancers Friday night.

The 13-goal victory was the largest margin of victory in the Tropics' four-year history and also set a mark for most goals in a win as well. The triumph improved Florida's mark to 6-1 on the year, a half-game ahead of the idle Milwaukee Wave. Florida won six games all last season in finishing 6-18.

The Tropics also got first-half goals from Antonio Manfut, Drew Ruggles and Joey Tavernese to take a 7-1 lead at intermission.

Tavernese added three more in the second half, and Carvalho added a third goal as well, to go along with two assists for a five-point game. Matt Clare (two), Lucas Teixeira, Guilherme and Victor Parreiras, twice in the fourth quarter, also found the back of the net. Manfut added four assists and Tavernese had an assist as well as both recorded five-point outings also. The club's previous high for goals in a game was 12. 

Despite the offensive onslaught, netminder Brett Petricek was himself busy in the Florida goal, facing 38 Lancers shots, picking up his third win in four starts since being signed three games into the 24-game regular season. Petricek even got in on the offense, picking up two assists giving him 12 for his 44 game MASL career.  Florida ended the night peppering two different Rochester goalies with 48 shots. 

Saturday, Jan. 4, will see the Tropics in Baltimore (4-4), in a rematch of a 7-2 Tropics win Dec. 21 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. That was just the Tropics second win ever over the Blast, who have won 10 indoor soccer championships in their history. It is only one of three weekends in the 2019-20 season that the Tropics will play on back-to-back nights. 

The game will be broadcast live at masl.tv with a start time of 6:05 p.m. against the Blast. 

After the quick road trip, Florida will return to Lakeland for another three-game home stand starring with back-to-back Sunday matinee's against the Orlando Seawolves on Jan. 12 and 19. Both games will start at 3:05 p.m. The St. Louis Ambush will make one of their two 2019-20 visits  to the RP Funding Center on Saturday, Jan. 25 in a 5:05 kickoff. Tickets for all games are available at fltropics.com or by calling 863-240-0101.