WINGS WIN BIG, GIVE ORANGE ARMY A GOAL-SCORING SHOW
WINGS WIN BIG AGAINST LIMPING RUMBLE, GIVE ORANGE ARMY A GOAL-SCORING SHOW
Nearly 4,000 loud and excited Wichita Wings fans packed Hartman Arena Saturday night to catch a glimpse of what the 40th anniversary Wings can do.
And they discovered that our hometown team can hit the back of the net.
Final score? Wings 13, Rumble 0.
The stats are worth noting. The defense posted a shutout and kept the Rumble from even attempting very many shots on goal. Goalkeeper Steven Hamersky had eight saves, Aaron Parrott had two after he relieved Hamersky in the fourth quarter. Alex Moseley, Alec Hinojos, and Daniel Sack each had one block on defense.
The offense was equally impressive. Kevin Ten Eyck scored four goals; Ethan Doud, David Lucio, and Moseley each hit the back of the net twice; Alex Rizzo, Hinojos, and Leonardo Catarina each scored once. Matt Sherrod and David Lucio each had two assists; Ten Eyck, Ethan Doud, Collin Lawter, Hobson, and Sack all contributed to the blow-out with one assist each. And despite the hard-fighting Rumble team racking up fouls and causing the referees to pull cards - the Wings' lone power play goal was scored by Kevin Ten Eyck.
"It was just an amazing performance overall," said Roger Downing, head coach.
Even with such an uneven score, or perhaps in part due to it, fans had a blast Saturday - old school cheers, retro uniforms on the players, team introductions harking back to the earlier team's heyday complete with the Rocky Theme music and appearances by former Wings who still live in the area. Legendary Wings coach Roy Turner received what was possibly the biggest ovation of the night when he was announced to the crowd following team introductions.
Few seats were empty for the game, although the merchandise table quickly became so. Team managers brought hundreds of tee shirts, sweatshirts and jackets to the arena and fans waited in long lines so they could gear up in the orange. Haven't picked up yours yet? Don't worry, said Shumaker, more shirts and other merchandise is on the way.
The Wings will have a booth set up at Hartman Arena for all games and Shumaker wants Wing fans to note that Hartman sales are credit card only. The team is not able to take cash for Wings' merchandise inside the arena.
Winning 13-0 during the home opener was a blast, but Shumaker said he wanted fans to know that future games will likely be more competitive than the blowout match against the Denver, Colorado based team. Founded in 2010, the Rumble (formerly the Blizzard) joined the MASL2 in 2017 and currently finds themselves in the bottom of league standings.
"This team was in last place," he said. "They were depleted with five of their top players sitting out. The two goalkeepers were training players - both of their goalkeepers were out. We have games coming up that will be much more competitive so you can really see what our players can do."
WINGS LOOK AHEAD TO QUALITY COMPETITION
The next opponent will be a strong one. The Amarillo Bombers also joined the MASL2 this season after decimating the competition last year in the US Arena Pro Soccer League during their inaugural season. Amarillo finished the season with an unblemished 9-0 record to win the USAPSL Championship. This season with the MASL2, they are still winning, with a five goals-for average and a win over the Dallas Sidekicks.
As of last night's game, the Wings sit at the top of the standings alongside the strong Chihuaha Savage. The two top-ranked teams are scheduled to meet head-on in back-to-back games January 18 and 19 at Hartman Arena.
"Chihuaha is really good," said Shumaker. "They are the best in the league. Those two games should really give fans a great weekend of soccer."
Still need tickets for those upcoming games? Visit Ticketmaster.com for tickets to the Wings 40th anniversary season or visit the Hartman Arena box office.