Braces from Rojas, Gurson Lead Orlando To Victory Over Florida

by Austin David

Kissimmee, FL – A balanced attack and stifling defense by the Orlando SeaWolves led them to an early 3-0 halftime lead, one that they would not relinquish as the home side took down the visiting Florida Tropics 6-3 at Silver Spurs Arena.

“I thought it was probably one of our best performances of the season,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said in his postgame press conference, “We had a couple little lapses, but that’s really the indoor game, to be fair.” 

The first quarter started slow, with both teams trying to feel out the game, but it was Orlando who struck first. Jonny Mendoza was able to get on the break and slot home the first goal of the game into the corner off an assist from Elmo Neto. That finish proved to be the only one in the first quarter.

Orlando doubled their lead early in the second quarter when Osvaldo Rojas got on the end of a Richard Schmermund free kick and redirected it in to make it a 2-0 lead. Rojas added another with just a few minutes before halftime after another Schmermund shot was redirected in. Orlando took that 3-0 lead into halftime, the first time this season they have held a team scoreless through the first 30 minutes.

The second half saw the Tropics come out with renewed energy, scoring 10 minutes into the 3rd quarter, making it 3-1. Orlando quickly responded as a deflected shot from Ozzie Rojas was knocked in with an acrobatic finish from Gordy Gurson to restore the three-goal cushion.

Florida came right back again and just a minute later scored off a deflection to keep them in it. It wasn’t until right at the end of the quarter that Derek Huffman was able to finish a tight-angled shot and once again put Orlando up by three. 

The fourth quarter saw Florida pushing to get back into the game, but the Orlando defense stood firm, denying many chances for the Tropics. Meanwhile, Hugo Silva for Florida kept them in the game with an inspired performance in goal. Orlando was able to put the game away in the dying moments, as Gurson tapped in a simple pass from Neto with under a minute to go to put the game away. Florida would add one back in the last seconds of the game, but the result was done and dusted with Orlando back to it’s winning ways and a 6-3 victory.

The SeaWolves will have a very quick turnaround as they play the Kansas City Comets tomorrow. Kickoff for that game will be at 7:05 p.m at Silver Spurs Arena.