The Cedar Rapids Rampage tightened their grip on first place in the MASL Central Division when they handed the St. Louis Ambush a 6-3 defeat Sunday afternoon at the Family Arena. The win improved Cedar Rapids’ record to 7-2 while the Ambush fell to 1-7.
Veteran forward Jamar Beasley put Cedar Rapids on the board first with his unassisted tally at 7:02. The visitors went up 2-0 at 13:22 when Ambush defender Mitchell Garcia headed the ball, causing an own goal, which was credited to Bobby Hurwitz..
Cedar Rapids wasted no time adding to their lead in the second quarter. Just 38 seconds into the period, Gordy Gurson made a backheel pass to Hewerton Moreira, who slid and kicked at the same time, resulting in the third Rampage goal. Moreira posted his second of the game on a restart at 7:49 to put Cedar Rapids up by four. Rampage forward Derek Huffman went on a breakaway and easily beat Ambush goalkeeper Casey Clark with a shot to the corner at 10:36 to increase the lead to five. That lead would grow to six when Jonnathan Pachar was able to dribble around Corey Adamson and bury the ball in the net at 13:46. At the halftime break, the teams retired to the locker rooms with Cedar Rapids enjoying a 6-0 lead.
The Ambush started the second half with Nikola Marojevic replacing Casey Clark in goal. The Ambush gained a man advantage when Huffman was sent to the penalty box at 2:50for tripping, but Cedar Rapids successfully killed the Ambush two minute power play. The home team finally got on the board at 9:15 of the third quarter when Greg Kranz fired a long range rocket from beyond the yellow line that beat Rampage goalkeeper Brett Petricek. With no further scoring from either team, Cedar Rapids held a 6-1 lead going into the final stanza.
The Ambush chipped away at the lead when Richard Schmermund scored an unassisted tally at 3:26 of the final quarter. Seconds later (3:40), the boys in teal made the score 6-3 when Stefan St. Louis scored. That offensive flurry would be the last of the scoring for either team as Cedar Rapids held on for the 6-3 win.
Marojevic said he was happy to get the playing time and “do whatever I can to help the team.” Veteran forward Corey Adamson said it was a tough loss. “We are a very young team. When we get rolling, we’re terrifying. When we get behind, it’s been very difficult to rebound,” Adamson said.
Ambush Head Coach Tony Glavin said he is “disappointed more than anything. We waited until the second half to try to come back and that was too late. Our guys put their heads down and don’t believe in themselves. When we play the way I know we can, we’re capable of beating any of these teams.”
The Ambush return to action when they host the division and cross-state rival Kansas City Comets in a New Years’ Eve matinee Saturday, December 31 at 1:05 p.m.