WINGS ARE UNDEFEATED, READY FOR THE REST OF SEASON
WINGS ARE UNDEFEATED, 4-0 READY TO TACKLE THE REST OF SEASON
Park City, KS (January 5, 2020) - The Wings are back and are powering through opponents in their first season in the MASL2. The 40th anniversary season of the Wichita Wings has home crowds cheering and the rest of the league taking notice of the new team. The men in orange took to the field against the well-respected Amarillo Bombers Saturday night at Hartman Arena in Park City and came away with yet another decisive win, 9-6.
"We knew that this game with Amarillo would be more competitive," said Blake Shumaker, owner. "It really gave the fans the opportunity to see the players under pressure, both offensively and defensively."
The Wings were coming off a 13-0 victory in their first home game against the Colorado Rumble and two victories in Austin, Texas to kick off the season back in December.
The Rumble came into last week's game limping, said Shumaker, with several top players not making the trip to Hartman Arena. Hard-hitting Amarillo was definitely not in the same position.
New to the MASL like the Wings, the Amarillo Bombers joined this season after decimating the competition last year in the US Arena Pro Soccer League. Amarillo finished that season with an unblemished 9-0 record to win the USAPSL Championship. They are a quality team, said Shumaker, and gave the Wings their toughest battle yet.
Kevin Ten Eyck agrees.
"It was an eye opening game for some as it was our first true test," said Ten Eyck, who scored 2 goals in last night's matchup. "They were a good team that threw some different tactics at us."
Taking on a skilled and hard-gunning team like Amarillo gave the new Wings a chance to learn, grow and fine-tune their play.
"They exposed us on some things," continued Ten Eyck. "We did really well at getting behind the ball and especially blocking shots. I thought Daniel Sack had a great game, blocked shots, big tackles, and a very timely goal."
Defender Sack brought the nearly sell-out crowd to their feet when he made that timely shot which soared nearly the 25 yds to even up the match.
The score at the end of the first quarter was tied, 2-2. Just before halftime, David Lucio powered through the Bombers defensive line and tipped the ball into the goal to give the Wings a 3-2 lead. The Bombers equalized early in the third period, which was a master class in defensive play from both teams.
The Wings and Bombers then traded goals, fouls and blocked shots (including a beautiful third quarter block by goalkeeper Steven Hamersky, who went one-on-one with a Bomber forward on a breakaway), but the Wings turned on the offense and defense in the fourth quarter. Wichita scored three quick goals to put the team up, 7-4. Undeterred until the final seconds of the game, the Bombers snuck in two goals that left Wings fans groaning, but still thrilled with the result as the whistle blew.
The crowd was loud and gave the team a definite home-field advantage, said Shumaker. Ten Eyck agreed and said he'd like to introduce the fast-paced brand of indoor soccer to more sports fans in Wichita.
"Indoor soccer is made for Americans who want a lot of action and scoring," said Ten Eyck, a prolific goal producer already this season. "It's fast-paced, lots of shots, lots of goals, and physical. Subs are free-flowing. There really aren't many stoppages of play or slow parts to the game, it's non-stop! It's a lot like hockey. The ball can go from defense to offense and a shot can be created quickly."
Be warned before you pick up your tickets for next week's game, though. Ten Eyck adds "I've heard many fans get hooked after watching one game!"
The Wings are back on the field next Sunday, Jan. 12, at Hartman Arena against the New Mexico Runners. The Wings still sit at the top of the standings alongside the powerhouse Chihuahua Savage, who they will meet head-on in back-to-back games January 18 and 19, also at Hartman Arena. Tickets still remain for the matches and are available through Ticketmaster online and the Hartman Arena box office.
MERCHANDISE WILL BE AVAILABLE
This week, again, Wings fans quickly scooped up gear from the merchandise table near the front of the arena. Team managers brought hundreds of tee shirts, sweatshirts and jackets to the arena and fans bought nearly the entire shipment for the second week in a row. Haven't picked up yours yet? Don't worry, said Shumaker, more shirts and other merchandise is slated to be available at the home games versus New Mexico.
The Wings want to remind fans that Hartman sales are credit card only. The team is not able to take cash for Wings' merchandise inside the arena.