by Lisa Sillaway

 The Wichita Wings are back on the road this weekend, ready to take on two Colorado teams in their quest to lock down second place in the league ahead of the playoffs. And they are taking their Orange lucky charms with them. 

"The guys are excited about heading to Colorado this weekend. We’ve been contacted by quite a few Wings fans who are making the trip to follow the team, so we certainly appreciate their support. It adds a different element to the match when you have people in your corner," said Blake Shumaker, owner. 

The Wings beat the Colorado Rumble 13-0 early in their season as well as the Colorado Inferno FC 6-5, both at home.  

"We have beaten both of these teams before, but it is always harder to win on the road," said Coach Roger Downing.  "The Rumble have had a tough season, but as of late they have played in some close games with good teams.  The Inferno we beat in OT at home, winning there on the back-end of the double header will be tough, but we are up for the challenge!" 

In addition to being on the road, the players are showing a little late season wear-and-tear. 

"We are a little banged-up.  Jared Robbins is out this weekend with an ankle and knee injury he suffered last Sunday. Other than that just some wear and tear on some of the guys," said Downing. 

The Wings spent last weekend on the road, losing to the Amarillo Bombers and coming away with a massive, 15-5,  win against the Runners in Santa Ana, New Mexico. Forward Nico helped to put the Wings on top Sunday with a double hat-trick.  

Someone should warn him that the coach is hoping for a repeat performance. 

"Nico is capable of scoring six goals every game.  We really played as a team Sunday and he reaped the benefits of it," said Downing, adding "David Lucio is going to have a great weekend for us.  He’s been banged up recently, but has been looking as good as I have seen him look all year." 

Goal keeper Aaron Parrot was a standout in the last two games but Steve Hamersky will take over guarding the net in Colorado.

"Hammer is here this weekend!" Downing said. "If something were to happen to him, we always have Parrott, in fact all three of our keepers have been great all year in helping the team and doing their jobs." 

The game Saturday in Denver will be against the Colorado Rumble is an early one - 12:30 p.m. - so when the team might normally be meeting up for a late lunch together, they will instead be taking the field. Lucas Sousa is slated to play both games this weekend and said he isn't too worried about the early kickoff.  

"It doesn’t affect me at all.. actually, for some players it is even better because there is no time to think about the game. We are going to have a good night of sleep, wake up, get ready and hopefully get the win," said Sousa. 

That's a good thing, because this weekend's games are crucial for the playoffs. 

"We need to take care of business this weekend to lock up two-seed up," said Downing. 

The Colorado Rumble are currently sitting in eighth place with a goals-for average of 4.7 and a goal differential of -67, while on a seven game losing streak. The Wings, however, are in a strong position coming off the New Mexico win with a 9.4 goals-for average and a goal differential of +48. 



The fledgling team is looking forward to their upcoming road trip to Colorado, but players and staff can't help but anticipate coming home to Hartman Arena and bringing the playoffs to the fans in early April. Orange Army, they are counting on you as their sixth attacker. 

"It’s bigger than a home field advantage. We know the best indoor fans are in Wichita and our players are extremely excited to get to provide those meaningful championship games at Hartman Arena," said Shumaker. 

All March games will leave the men in orange without their sixth attacker - the Orange Army. Shumaker is confident that the extended slate of away games will be only positive for the 40th anniversary season and knows that fans will keep tabs on the team during their road trip. 

Tickets are on sale for the championship weekend and can be purchased at the Hartman Arena Box Office or via Ticketmaster online.