by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, MO

The St. Louis Ambush travel to Wichita to clash with the B-52s at Hartman Arena this Saturday, January 10 at 7:05 p.m. The inter-divisional duel takes on added importance for the Ambush because Wichita (5-6) sits immediately ahead of St. Louis (3-6) in the Central Divison standings. Saturday night’s contest is the tenth game in the 20-game regular season for the Ambush, so it’s not too early to focus on clinching a playoff spot. The top three teams in each division will earn a trip to the MASL post season, and entering the weekend, the Ambush sit just two-and-one-half games behind the third place Milwaukee Wave.

Saturday’s game also resurrects an old Missouri-Kansas rivalry between these two great indoor soccer cities. The original St. Louis Steamers, Storm and Ambush each enjoyed a great rivalry with the old Wichita Wings. Fans from both cities frequently made the trip to their opponents’ arena to support their respective teams on the road.

Wichita’s formidable offense is led by Matt Clare (14 goals), Byron Alvarez (13 goals) and Travis Pittman (11 goals). The B-52′s overall points leaders are Clare and Alex Moseley with 18 points each and Alvarez with 17. Wichita’s top defender is Kevin Ten Eyck, whose 13 blocks are good enough for a top ten spot in the league in that category. Minding the nets for the B-52′s is starting goalkeeper Boris Pardo, who has compiled an impressive 6.56 goals against average and .700 save percentage.

A familiar face on the Wichita squad is defender Mike Mesle, who had appeared in eight games for the B-52s thus far. The St. Charles native was a member of the Ambush last season, appearing in 18 of the team’s 20 games.

St. Louis’ offense is led by Kory Dowell with seven goals and Elvir Kafedzic and Blake Ordell with six goals each. The point leaders for the Ambush are Kafedzic, Stefan St. Louis and Odaine Sinlcair with 10 points each. The Ambush boast two of the league’s top defenders. Chad Vandegriffe ranks second in the MASL in blocks with 25 and Chris Mattingly’s 22 blocks puts him in the number three spot in the league. In goal for the Ambush, Greg Crook has compiled a 6.67 goals against average, with a .737 save percentage.

The January 10 contest is the first of three consecutive away games for the Ambush. The next will be back-to-back road games next weekend, with a trip to Independence to face the Missouri Comets on Friday, January 16 and a return visit to battle the B-52s on Saturday, January 17. The Ambush return home to the Family Arena when they host the Tulsa Revolution for the first time ever on Friday, January 23 at 7:35 p.m.

For the latest Ambush news, watch the Ambush official website, and the team’s Facebook page, Group and single game tickets are available for all remaining Ambush home games. Call the Ambush office at 636-477-6363 for more information. Single game tickets can be purchased at the Family Arena box office or online at