Late rally falls short as Milwaukee nips Tropics, 10-9

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A furious late rally fell just short as the Florida Tropics fell to the Milwaukee Wave, 10-9, in a Major Arena Soccer League game Saturday night at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Milwaukee led 9-5 with five minutes into the fourth quarter when goalkeeper Hugo Silva found the mark on a 65-foot bomb just nine seconds after the Wave had built its biggest lead of the night. The Tropics also got two goals from Guilherme and another by Caio Ruiz in the final nine minutes, but Robert Renaud's marker with 4:42 to go proved to be the game winner.

Milwaukee improved to 8-1, atop the South Central Division, while the Tropics fell to 3-7, in last in the division, but still only 1.5 games out of second, which is the final playoff spot in the division. It was the fourth straight loss for Florida, their longest losing streak in franchise history.

Ian Bennett had three goals for the Wave, who also got scores from Marcio Leite, Issac Pereyra (at the buzzer as time expied in the second quarter), Max Ferdinand and Alex Bradley.

Florida's other goal getters include Ricardo Diegues with a pair, and one each from Max Touloute, and from Andre Braithwaite and Antonio Manfut who were both acquired this week in trades.

Florida will stay home to meet the St. Louis Ambush next Saturday, Jan. 26, while Milwaukee will stay in the Sunshine state for the Martin Luther King Day matchup with the Orlando SeaWolves.