The Week That Was 2/27/23

Things have gotten very interesting in the Central Division. The Chicago Mustangs, who entered the weekend with a 5-2 record, had an easy time in Milwaukee with a 14-4 win Saturday. At the same time the then-7-0 Omaha Kings were losing 7-2 at halftime to the 1-5 Illinois State Line Falcons. 

It was as if Kings coach Emmanuel Viel flipped a switch at halftime and his team came to life with a 10-0 second half explosion. That 12-7 win preserved the Kings two game lead in the division, but Sunday Omaha traveled to Chicago. The teams went goal-for-goal until Chicago took a 6-4 lead. But one late Manuel Lira fourth quarter penalty kick goal and amazing volley later, the score was tied 6-6. 

Daniel Zuckweiler, the Kings hero last time Omaha visited Chicago, scored to give Omaha a 7-6 lead with 2:14 remaining in the game. But the Mustangs weren't done. Luis Batalla scored a highlight-reel spin-a-rama goal to tie the game with 1:51 to go and newly-re-signed former Mexican National Teamer Alonso "el Negro" Sandoval scored the game winner 52 seconds before the final whistle, giving the Mustangs an electric 8-7 win.

The Mustangs now sit a game back of Omaha and the two teams meet for the last time on Saturday in Omaha. With the Kings leading the season series 2-1 and only leading in goals 22-20, the game could be a winner-take-all game for the division crown.

Saturday, March 4

Houston 13 Austin 6 F

David Brown had four goals and Jeminson Mejia had two goals and three assists to lead the Houston Bolt (8-3) to a 13-6 win over the Austin Emerald (0-9). Mejia now has 32 points on the season, ranking him third in MLIS. For Brown, it was his second straight four-goal game, and fourth straight multi-goal game.

Wichita 15 Springfield 6 F

Springfield's season came to an end Saturday and their playoff hopes were effectively dashed as well after a 15-6 loss to Wichita. The Demize end their first MLIS season with a 7-5 record. At the end of January Springfield had two amazing road comeback victories that propelled them into first place at 5-2, but they lost two of their final three games by a combined 32-11. Radley Arnold had four goals and two assists and Andric McGill and Trey Silmon added hat tricks for Wichita (5-3), who improved to 5-3 and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Chicago 14 Milwaukee 4 F

Brew City United's first game in their new home arena was not a memorable one. The Milwaukee team lost 14-4 to the Chicago Mustangs to fall to 0-7. Jimmy Matthews had a hat trick for Chicago (6-2) who won their fourth straight game.

Omaha 12 Rockford 7 F

The Illinois State Line Falcons blew a 7-2 halftime lead and suffered their second straight second half meltdown in a 12-7 home loss. Rockford has outscored opponents 28-25 in the first half this year, but has been outscored 39-22 in the second halves. In the last two games they have been outscored 16-3 in the second half.

Sunday, March 5

Chicago 8 Omaha 7 F

The MLIS featured game of the week was indeed the best game of the week. The Chicago Mustangs scored the game's final two goals to poach an 8-7 win from the first place Omaha Kings. The Kings suffered their first loss of the season, ending an eight-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Mustangs fifth straight win pulled them to within one game of the Central Division-leading Kings. Former Mexican National Team  player Alonso "el Negro" Sandoval, making his return to the Mustangs, had two goals and two assists, including the winning goal with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. MVP candidate Manuel Lira had four more goals for Omaha, including the game-tying goal with three minutes left after Chicago took a 6-4 lead.

...and coming up:
Eastern Division
Cincinnati Swerve 3/11/23 vs. Cleveland, 3/12/23 vs. Grand Rapids
Cleveland Crunch 3/11/23 at Cincinnati
Detroit Waza Flo 3/18/23 at Cleveland
Rapid City FC 3/12/23 at Cincinnati

Central Division
Brew City United 3/11/23 vs. Illinois
Chicago Mustangs 3/11/23 at Omaha
Illinois State Line Falcons 3/11/23 at Milwaukee
Omaha Kings 3/11/23 vs. Chicago

Southern Division
Austin Emerald 3/12/23 vs. Wichita
Houston Bolt 3/11/23 vs. Houston
Springfield Demize season complete
Wichita Selection 3/11/23 at Houston, 3/12/23 at Austin