by Jim Fossell

Ontario, California (January 28, 2024) – The St. Louis Ambush lost an 8-7 overtime nail-biter to the Empire Strykers Sunday evening at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The loss is the second of the weekend for the Ambush and their third overtime loss of the season. The Ambush drop to 2-8-3 on the season and the Strykers improve to 3-9-0.

St. Louis struck first in the seventh minute of the game when Marcel Berry sent a pass across the goal mouth to a charging VcMor Eligwe, who pounded the ball into the net. The first quarter elapsed with the Ambush leading 1-0.

The Strykers drew even when Moustapha Gueye took a pass from Justin Stinson and found the back of the net in the second minute of the second quarter. The Srykers took a 2-1 lead in the third minute of the frame when Stinson assisted again, this time passing to Gerardo Jurado, who beat Ambush goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento with his shot. Stinson continued in the playmaker role when he sent a pass to Miguel Ponce, who headed the ball into the net in the eighth minute of the period to increase their lead to 3-1. St. Louis got one back on Richard Schmermund’s unassisted tally in the tenth minute. The Strykers went up 4-2 in the eleventh minute when a Marco Fabian shot came off the post, deflected off an Ambush defender and into the net. The Strykers struck again with 12 seconds remaining in the first half when Fabian drew Nascimento out of the goal, then passed the ball to Stefan Mijatovic, who easily put the ball on target to make ita 5-2 game through the halftime break.

Jurado got his second goal of the contest in the second minute of the third quarter when he beat Nascimento with a rocket of a shot to make it a 6-2 game. St. Louis got one back when Ado Jahic was left unmarked and scored off a pass from Lucas Almeida in the eighth minute. In the thirteenth minute, Almeida notched another assist and Eligwe his second goal to shave the scoring gap to 6-4. With 35 seconds remaining in the third stanza, James Togbah scored the fifth Ambush goal to make it a one point game (6-5) heading into the final stanza.

The fourth quarter remained scoreless until the fourteenth minute when Nascimento took on the role of the quasi-sixth attacker and scored with one minute and five seconds left on the clock to knot the score 6-6. With 29.9 seconds left, William Eskay scored with a long shot to give the Ambush their first lead since the first quarter. The Strykers wouldn’t go quietly though as Gueye posted his second goal of the match to tie the score once again with 5.6 seconds left and sudden-death overtime looming on the horizon.

In the sixth minute of overtime, Fabian nailed his second of the game with a shot by Nascimento to cement the 8-7 overtime win for the Empire Strykers.

Next, the Ambush return to The Family Arena for three consecutive home games. The Harrisburg Heat come to town on February 2, followed by the Kansas City Comets on February 4 and the Tacoma Stars on February 10.

All MASL games are available for viewing via webcast at Single game, season and group tickets for the 2023-24 season are now on sale. Call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363 for more information. Single game tickets can also be purchased online at Fans can stay current on all Ambush news by visiting the team’s official website, and on social media outlets.