ST. CHARLES, Mo.— The St. Louis Ambush snapped their four-game losing streak with an 11-5 win over the Tulsa Revolution at the Family Arena Friday night. The Ambush’s offensive outpouring continued, as the previously pedestrian offense has scored 20 goals combined in the last two games. For the second time in as many games, the Ambush set a season high in goals scored and the six-goal win differential is St. Louis’ largest of the season.
St. Louis was led by a trio of goal scorers who each found the back of the net twice. Blake Ordell kept his team lead in tact with two goals, including a shot that flew three-quarters of the field and just under the crossbar. Elvir Kafedzic—the team leader in points—notched a pair with his final goal capping the scoring. Corey Adamson was the final multi-goal scorer Friday. Adamson did not travel with the team on their road trip last weekend, but stopped the bleeding in the third quarter of this contest and kept the Ambush in control after it appeared to be slipping.
An Ordell goal opened the scoring just under five minutes in, but the Revolution’s Clovis Malekani tied the score 30 seconds later off a nice give-and-go with Nick McDonald. Midfielder Cody Costakis broke the tie and gave the Ambush a lead they would never relinquish again by scoring off a wall pass from Gordy Gurson at the 7:49 mark.
The Ambush dominated the second quarter from start to finish, outscoring the Revolution 3-0 in the period.
Ordell’s second goal of the night came 4:51 into the second quarter and was his most spectacular and probably the most impressive of the entire MASL season. The forward took an outlet pass at the Ambush 50-foot yellow line, saw Tulsa keeper Richard Nolasco cheating off his line, put his head down, and unloaded on the ball. The yellow missile would not touch down again until it traveled approximately 150 feet, past the outstretched finger tips of the back-pedaling and diving Nolasco, and hit the back of the Revolution net.
With five minutes left in the first half, the league’s leading scorer, Gurson, got his first goal in front of his new home crowd. Gurson was shoved down in the box by the aptly-named Bryant Scrapper, drawing a blue card and a shootout attempt. Gurson’s initial shot attempt on the shootout was right at Nolasco, but he calmly took the rebound and buried it for his 38th goal of the season and second as a member of the Ambush.
Chad Vandegriffe cut hard to the net and finished a pass from Ordell to give St. Louis a 5-1 halftime lead.
In the third quarter the goals came at a furious pace. When the 15 minutes expired, a total of six goals had been added to the score.
Tulsa’s Justin Hershey crashed the far post and knocked in the rebound of a Lucas Bunster Almeida shot to cut the Ambush lead to 5-2. Kafedzic answered with a little toe poke through the five-hole to push the lead back to 6-2.
Then, the Ambush got their last scare of the night. This season when one thing has gone wrong for St. Louis it is soon followed by a disastrous sequence of events that leads to yet another loss. With 3:41 to go in the third, it looked like they were going down that path yet again. Oscar Rivadavia won a loose ball in the Ambush end and shot wide, but the ball caromed off the wall, hit Ambush fill-in goalie Kevin Gorby in the back and crossed the goal line. Less than 15 seconds later, Hershey picked off a sloppy pass in front of the goal and scored off the post to cut the lead to 6-4.
However, unlike previous games, the Ambush answered the bell. Adamson got free on the left, inside the arc and scored on a low, bouncing shot, and Richard Schmermund finished a two-on-one break to give the Ambush an 8-4 lead headed into the final 15 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, last year’s leading Ambush scorer, Odaine Sinclair, got his sixth goal of the season off a volley at the goal line. Almeida answered with a nice move around Corby for the easy tap in to make the score 9-5. Adamson scored a power play goal in the upper 90 and Kafedzic deked the keeper and scored for the game’s final two goals.
Things, once again, got a bit chippy for the Ambush. A hard tackle from behind by Vandegriffe on Nick McDonald with 9:28 in the fourth sparked the controversy. Vandegriffe was immediately confronted with a shove by Hershey. Axel Duarte stepped in between the two and gave the Tulsa defender a shoulder to the sternum to display his displeasure with attacking his teammate as others jumped into the shouting-and-shoving match. Duarte and Hershey were given blue cards for their role in the fracas.
The Ambush had a new goalie on Friday night. In Kevin Corby’s first time out he stopped 19 of 24 shots faced. Corby will also get the start in Saturday night’s game. St. Louis’ previous keeper, Alan Hagerty – who took over for Greg Crook after he went down with an ACL tear – could not play this weekend due to a “prior engagement.” Hagerty was 0-2 in two starts with 19 goals allowed and a .689 save percentage.
The Ambush (4-9) are back in action Saturday night, Jan. 24, at 7:35 p.m. at the Family Arena when they will finish their three-game series with the Wichita B-52s. The Ambush lost the previous two games 7-5 and 14-9, both in Wichita. St. Louis sits three games back of Wichita. Both teams trail Milwaukee for the final playoff spot—Ambush 3.5, B-52s 0.5. With seven games to go, the Ambush are not eliminated if they lose this game, but their foothold on the climb up the mountain to third in the Central certainly would get far more precarious.
If you are interested in some extra, free soccer, the Tulsa Revolution (1-11) will try to snap their 10-game losing streak when they take on the Chicago Mustangs at the Family Arena at 1 p.m. The Revolution are currently without a home arena, as they are changing venues in Tulsa and their turf could not be set up in their new arena in time for the Central division matchup.
Alumni from the St. Louis Steamers and St. Louis Storm will be on hand for a game at halftime of the Ambush game. The alumni players will be signing autographs starting at 6 p.m. on the Family Arena Concourse
(Photo Credit: Scott Neer/St. Louis Ambush; MASLsoccer.com)
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