KC Comets soccer team sweeps Milwaukee Wave, advances to MASL championship series

The Kansas City Comets indoor-soccer team is headed to the Ron Newman Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history after completing a two-game sweep of the longtime rival Milwaukee Wave in the MASL Eastern Conference Finals.

It took two nervewracking come-from-behind victories in the conference finals, but first-year head coach Stefan Stokic has guided the Comets back to a championship series for the first time since 2014.

The Comets won Game 1 in Milwaukee by a score of 5-4 last Friday. Trailing 4-3 late in the fourth quarter, Lucas Sousa equalized with 1:10 left on the clock before Zach Reget scored the go-ahead goal with 27 seconds remaining.

The Comets appeared to be well on their way to the championship series with a 6-0 lead in the fourth quarter of Game 2 on Monday at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Wave mounted a comeback for the ages, with five straight scores to tie it 6-6.

Then the visitors from the north boldly decided to keep their sixth attacker on the field in an effort to win the game. This decision paid off for the Wave, as they found the go-ahead goal with 1:06 remaining.

The collapse appeared complete, but the Comets weren’t done. Robert Palmer scored an equalizer with 34 seconds left, sending a perfectly placed shot from distance into the back of the net to force overtime.

With 3:41 of overtime played, Milwaukee’s sixth-attacker strategy — which proved successful in regulation — was the deciding factor. Hard-pressing Christian Anderaos picked up a loose pass, created some space and found the far corner of the net with a nicely composed finish, sending the Comets to the championship series.

“I just wanted to celebrate with the whole world,” Anderaos said of his reaction to scoring the game-winner. “The team has worked so hard for this moment. We’re all just one big family and we’re nothing without the fans. I’m blessed to have this opportunity and moment.”

Anderaos continued, “It feels like heaven; It feels like I’m living a dream. We can’t let our excitement take us too far. It just shows all the extra work that I’ve put in has been paying off.”

The Comets will face the defending champion Chihuahua Savage of Mexico in the Ron Newman Cup Finals. Game 1 is at Cable Dahmer Arena on Sunday and Game 2 is in Chihuahua, Mexico on Tuesday, April 30. Tickets for Sunday’s game are available through Ticketmaster.

While the Comets have lost all three games against the Savage, KC enters the series on a 10-game winning streak.

Palmer named MASL Defender of the Year

Comets veteran Robert Palmer was named MASL Defender of the Year for the second time in his career, becoming the first Defender of the Year in the history of Kansas City indoor soccer.

Palmer set an MASL single-season record with 86 blocks in his first year back with the Comets after three years with the Empire Strykers. He said he’s thankful to all the previous defenders from whom he learned and is now focused on the championship.

“It’s good to get an individual award,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to get the big thing: winning the championship.”

Palmer also came up clutch offensively for the Comets in the conference finals, assisting on their Game 1 equalizer and scoring an equalizer himself in Game 2.

Palmer was also named to the Elite Six All-MASL First Team alongside Zach Reget. Goalkeeper Nicolau Neto and defender Chad Vandegriffe were named All-MASL Honorable Mention.