Ambush Drop a Close One in Florida

by Jim Fossell

Lakeland, FL (January 13, 2017) – While the folks back home were dealing with a nasty ice storm on Friday the thirteenth, the St. Louis Ambush played the first of two weekend games in Lakeland, Florida. Although they played a solid game, they failed to post a win as the Florida Tropics handed the Ambush a 4-3 loss at the Lakeland Center Friday night.

The opening stanza remained scoreless until the final second, when Florida midfielder Victor Parreiras executed a dramatic bicycle kick in front of the goal to give the Tropics a 1-0 lead at 14:59.

Florida increased their lead to two at 12:40 of the second period when defender Raphael Nascimento played a ball off the dasher boards and kicked it into the upper ninety. With no further scoring in the quarter, the teams retired to the locker rooms for the halftime break with the Tropics leading 2-0.
The Ambush finally got on the board at 6:10 of the third quarter when Florida goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa was assessed a blue card for tripping, resulting in a penalty kick that Ambush midfielder Lucas Almeida was able to bury in the back of the net to make the score 2-1. As he did in the first quarter, Parreiras scored with one second remaining in the third quarter. In the first quarter it was a bicycle kick. This time, it was a long shot on a restart. Scoring with one second on the clock isn’t all that common but Parreiras pulled it off twice in one game. Improbable, unlikely, but real nonetheless on this Friday the thirteenth in Lakeland, Florida. The Tropics enjoyed a 3-1 lead heading into the final period.

The Ambush cut into the lead at 1:40 of the fourth quarter when St. Louis midfielder Victor France launched a missile that found its target. Florida wasted no time answering as forward Robbie Aristodemo scored at 2:18 to give the home team a two-goal cushion (4-2). With time running out, France sent a pass to Kentaro Takada, who was positioned in front of the goal mouth and able to send the ball into the goal at 13:29. No further scoring occurred and the clock struck zero as the Tropics nailed down the 4-3 win.

Both goalkeepers turned in solid performances as former Ambush goalkeeper and current Tropics goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa made 18 saves on 21 save attempts for an impressive .857 save percentage. Ambush goalkeeper Casey Clark saved 15 on 19 attempts, for a .789 save percentage.

The loss dropped the Ambush to 1-10 on the season, while the Tropics improved to 5-7. Ambush Head Coach Tony Glavin was able to see some positives in the loss. Glavin said, “I thought we played very well tonight with the intensity. Unfortunately, we’re still giving up a goal or two and making too many mistakes and we need to change that, create more chances and improve our finishing in scoring goals. Overall, I’m seeing improvement. Sometimes you have to take baby steps before you can take some big steps. I’m certainly looking forward to Sunday and an overall improvement again, this time from a results standpoint. I know we’re close.”

The Ambush won’t have to wait long for the opportunity to avenge the loss as they will challenge the Tropics again on Sunday at 4:35 p.m. CT.  The Ambush return to the Family Arena next weekend for Friday and Sunday games at home. On Friday, January 20, the Ambush host the Harrisburg Heat at 7:35 p.m. All fans in attendance at the January 20 game will receive a free ticket to X-Treme Ice Racing, slated for January 28 at the Family Arena. On Sunday, January 22, the Milwaukee Wave invade the Family Arena for a 3:05 p.m. matinee affair.

Fans can catch all Ambush games this season live on the MASLtv YouTube channel. Single game and group tickets are available for all remaining home games. For more information, call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363. Keep up to date with Ambush news by visiting the official website,, the team’s Facebook page and on Twitter and Instagram.