Tropics return home winners with 7-6 triumph over Syracuse

by Brian Ackley

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Florida Tropics SC homecoming to the Lakeland Center next Saturday night will be a happy one.

The first-year Major Arena Soccer League team, playing its second road game in as many nights and third in a week, got offense from some unexpected sources early on, and defeated the Syracuse Silver Knights 7-6 to even their season mark at 2-2.

Lucas Montelares, Victor Parreiras and Raphael Nascimento all scored their first goals of the season to stake the Tropics to a 3-2 lead in the second quarter, but Florida was not done. Lucas Texeira made it 4-2 with 28 seconds to play before the half, and Parreiras went top corner for his second of the night, this one with just with nine seconds left in the period, to send the Tropics to intermission with a 5-2 advantage.

Syracuse closed to within two goals twice in the second half, but a penalty shot goal by captain Freddy Moojen and Jowayne Laidley's second of the season, which proved to be the game winner, kept the Tropics lead at three for much of the second half.

Two late Syracuse goals, including one with an extra attacker with 1:52 to play brought the hosts to within one, but Florida was able to run out the clock.  Syracuse, an eastern divisional foe, drops to 1-1 on the year.

The Tropics outshot Syracuse, 23-21, as both Florida goaltender Piotr Sliwa and Silver Knights keeper Andrew Coughlin repeatedly made big saves. The Tropics defense also was stout, coming up with a season-high eight blocks.

Florida will entertain the MASL defending champion Baltimore Blast on Dec. 3 at the Lakeland Center with kickoff set for 7:05. Despite trailing just 2-1 heading into the final quarter, the Tropics lost to Baltimore 7-1 on the first game of this three-game road trip, which also saw Florida fall to Harrisburg last night, 7-4.