Special teams help Tropics "power" past Dallas Sidekicks, 10-6, for 7th straight win
LAKELAND, Fla – The Florida Tropics got four power play goals, and for the third consecutive game reached double digits in goals, as they won their seventh straight game Sunday at the RP Funding Center, 10-6 over the Dallas Sidekicks.
Florida improved to 9-1 on the season, the only team in the Major Arena Soccer League’s Eastern Division that has a better than. 500 record. They lead the entire MASL in goals scored with 85, and are tied for the fewest goals allowed at 36 with the San Diego Sockers, who have played two less games than the Tropics.
Drew Ruggles had three goals and two assists to lead the Tropics. For the MASL Defender of the Year in 2019-20, it was his first career hat trick. Victor Parreiras had a goal and three assists, and now has 24 points on the season, good for second overall in scoring this year in the league.
“We knew this would be a tougher game today, and I was happy to see how we responded to the challenge of being in a one-goal game in the second half,” Florida Coach Clay Roberts said. “We recognize that taking advantage of our opportunities like power plays and restarts will be important parts of what we need to do to continue our good play so it's encouraging to see those parts of the game really clicking now.”
Zach Reget had two goals and an assist, and Florida got single scores from Bruno Henrique, Kiel Williams, Breno Oliveria and Ricardo Carvalho. Henrique has now had a point in every game this year, and goals in six straight, two short of the team record.
Hugo Silva, who leads the league in goals against average (3.45) and saves percentage (.801) picked up the win in goal. He faced 13 shots and made 10 saves in relief of Brett Petricek, who injured a leg in the first-quarter.
Florida built a 5-2 lead at intermission, but twice in the third quarter, the Sidekicks pulled to within a goal, but never found the equalizer in falling to 5-6 on the season. Sensational rookie Luiz Morales had three goals and an assist for the Sidekicks, giving him 13 goals on the year.
The Tropics will conclude it’s nine-game homestand next Sunday when they host the St. Louis Ambush at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the MASL’s YouTube channel .
Local fans can score free general admission to all of the team’s home games this winter thanks to its sponsors who are presenting the “Tropics Blitz”.
The “Tropics Blitz” will provide free general admission tickets as a way of providing a great evening of family entertainment for parents and kids who have had their activities curtailed because of the ongoing pandemic. Vehicles with two or more persons will pay $20 to park, and then be able to take their parking receipt to the RP Funding Center box office for the same number of free tickets to that day’s game as occupants in the vehicle. Single occupant vehicles will pay just $10 for parking.
For more information, visit www.fltropics.com.