INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Chicago Soul (2-7) was on its way to complete a late comeback, but the Missouri Comets (5-3), powered by Byron Alvarez's hat trick, hung on for the 14-11 victory Sunday at the Independence Events Center.
The Soul saw plenty of opportunities for a rally in the fourth quarter but were simply unable to capitalize.
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Matthew Stewart provided some spark for Chicago, scoring a 3-pointer nearly four minutes into the period and then struck again from the 2-point range, but Alvarez matched Stewart's efforts scoring 2 of his 3 goals in the final quarter.
The Soul then threw out a sixth attacker in the final minutes to provide more offensive momentum. Chicago even caught a bit of a break with 33 seconds to go when Vahid Assadpour headed to penalty box, allowing the Soul a power-play opportunity with its sixth attacker in the mix.
Chicago managed to make several solid shot attempts, but the clock wound down and the squad simply ran out of time.
"They put great pressure on us," Soul coach Manny Rojas said of the Comets' defense in the final minute. "We tried to get our best players to take shots, but Missouri just did a better job of keeping us out of close range and forcing us to take difficult shots while in counterattack. We didn't get the clear shot we needed, and lost to a very good team."
The Soul had started out on a positive note with Bato Radoncic getting the squad on the board early in the first quarter, but Chicago got hit with most of the damage in the second quarter and seemed to struggle the rest of the way.
The second quarter consisted of dominant play on the Comets' end, with 3 consecutive Missouri goals from Assadpour, Mads Falck and Alvarez to make it a 6-2 Chicago deficit.
The Soul's Sean Summerville managed to squeeze in his first goal of the season to cut the Comets' lead to 6-4, but Lucas Rodriguez responded minutes later with a goal to make it a 4-point game by the half.
The third quarter opened with a goal by rookie Ephraim Beard on a clean pass from Summerville, and the Soul was able to bring the game back within 2 until Leo Gibson followed up with a goal on the other end, making it a 10-6 Comets lead heading into the final period.
"We will head back home now, take a good look at our problem, and try to fix it as soon as possible," Rojas said.