Tropics re-write record book in wild, important 12-10 win over Syracuse

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Florida Tropics shredded their record book Sunday night, and hopefully took another step toward the Major Arena Soccer League's post-season, with a thrilling 12-10 win over division foe Syracuse Sunday night at the Lakeland Center.

The Tropics concluded its seven-game homestand with five wins, and moved into a tie for second place in the eastern division with the Harrisburg Heat, who did not play this weekend. Florida is now 8-9, while Harrisburg is 7-8. Both teams are three games behind the front running Baltimore Blast, and technically the Tropics are in second place by percentage points in the standings. The top two teams in the eastern division earn playoff spots.

Freddie Moojen was the first player to re-write the record book, scoring just nine seconds into the first quarter for the quickest Tropics goal at the start of the game. Moojen ended up with three goals in the first quarter, his second hat trick of the season, part of Florida's six-goal first and a 6-2 lead heading into the second quarter, much to the delight of the Lakeland Center crowd of 3,031.

Syracuse turned the tables in the second frame, getting six goals of their own leaving the teams tied at 8-all at intermission

While the second half was a little less frenetic, Florida found themselves having to rally from a  10-9 defect, and did so on goals by Lucas Texeira, and two by Ricardo Diegues who lead all scorers on the night with three goals and two assists.

The Tropics set records for most goals in a game, 12, and most combined goals, 22. It was also the first time they've had two hat tricks in the same game. The Tropics also set a record for most shots faced as Syracuse unleashed an incredible 71 shots. The Tropics had 17 blocks and took 55 shots of their own, a franchise record as well. Florida goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa was credited with 23 saves, while Syracuse starter Bryan O'Quinn had nine.

Texeira ended up with two goals and two assists, while Moojen had three goals and an assist. Jowayne Laidley and Victor Rojas had a goal and assist each. For the Silver Knights, Zac McNabb had two goals and an assist and Slavisa Ubiparipovic also had a hat trick. Antonio Manfut had two assists, and Patrick Thompson chipped in with a goal and assist.

Florida will get a much needed weekend off now, and will finish their regular season with three games in three days, Feb. 24-26, starting with a Friday/Saturday double header in Harrisburg, and the finale on Sunday in Syracuse. All games will be broadcast live on