Wichita Wings to host MASL 2 playoffs, look for first pro indoor soccer championship

The Wichita Wings are an iconic indoor soccer franchise, regarded as one of the most well-known across the country.

But through all of its iterations, the one thing the Wings have never been able to accomplish is a professional indoor soccer championship.

That’s what is at stake this weekend when the Wings host the Major Arena Soccer League 2 playoffs at Hartman Arena in Park City with nine games in three days starting with the quarterfinals on Friday.

After its best regular season since joining MASL 2 five years ago, Wichita (11-0-1) will host Atletico Orlando (6-6) at 7 p.m. Friday night. All games will be streamed for free on the league’s YouTube page, while all-session general admission tickets begin at $60 with single-session tickets at $19 on Ticketmaster.

“They’re a very good team. They’re very physical,” Wichita coach Roger Downing said on the Wings’ social media. “They like to high press a lot of the time, but there are times when they sit in. So it’s going to be recognizing what they’re trying to do defensively and how we want to attack it on the offensive end. That’s going to be the key to the game.”

The action begins at 1 p.m. Friday with the No. 2 seed Rochester Lancers facing No. 7 Iowa Raptors, followed by a 4 p.m. clash between the No. 1 seed Iowa Demon Hawks and No. 8 St. Louis Ambush. The No. 5 seed Amarillo Bombers have received a forfeit win after travel issues prevented No. 4 El Paso Rhinos from making it to Wichita.

A consolation game will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by semifinals slated for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The M2 championship game will kick off at 4 p.m. Sunday.

While Iowa and Rochester (N.Y.) finished undefeated in their divisions to earn the top two seeds, Wichita also figures to be among the championship contenders this weekend after posting a plus-52 goal differential to claim the Midwest division title.

Mehrshad Ahmadi has been dynamite in his first season with the Wings, leading the team with 25 goals, while Wichita native Kevin Ten Eyck, a former star at Maize and Friends, was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Ten Eyck has compiled 46 goals and 64 assists, including a career-high 19 this season, the past five years for the Wings.

Another Wichita native, David Lucio, has provided a punch on offense with 12 goals and 12 assists this season, while Caique Trivelato, a Cowley College product, has scored 17 goals in nine games. Goalkeeper Jose Ocampo has been one of the best in the league this season, while players like Jared Robbins, Taylor Henry, Kieran Laking, Colin Lawter, Luis Dantas Rodrigues, Juan Zamora, Daniel Sack, Max Shea and Lalo Derath have also helped the Wings.

“It’s just our togetherness,” Downing said. “I’ve got a lot of vets and they brought the young guys in — and it’s nice when you have six, seven guys who have played the game for a number of years who can really speed up the process for the young guys to pick up the indoor game. That’s really been (the key) to our success, just how quickly the young guys have caught on and it’s from the leadership from my veterans.”

Thanks to a raucous “Orange Army” fan base, Wichita has led the MASL 2 in attendance every year since joining the league — a big reason why the city was selected to host postseason play.

The Wings last hosted the playoff bracket in 2021 when they reached the title game before falling to the Cleveland Crunch, 11-6.

Friday’s MASL 2 playoff schedule

1 p.m. — No. 2 Rochester (N.Y.) Lancers vs. No. 7 Iowa Raptors

4 p.m. — No. 1 Iowa Demon Hawks vs. No. 8 St. Louis Ambush

7 p.m. — No. 3 Wichita Wings vs. No. 6 Atletico Orlando