Your '22/'23 MASL2 Raptors indoor team started their season off with a bang on Saturday night, November 26, defeating the Omaha Kings 9-7 in exhibition play at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
Your Raptors jumped out to an early 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Omaha battled back, however, tying the game at halftime and taking a brief 5-4 lead in the third quarter. Two timely fourth period goals put the Raptors back on top, however, and they held on for the win despite a furious Omaha rally that featured two scores in the last three minutes and an extra attacker on the field for the visitors.
"That's one of the most exciting parts of the indoor game that new fans might not be aware of," said team captain Jake Johnson. "Arena soccer is like hockey, in that a team can pull their goalie for an extra attacker in the last few minutes if they're trailing. There's also the blue card foul. That's like a hockey power play, where the team that committed the foul has to play shorthanded for two minutes."
Your Raptors took full advantage of those blue cards in the second half, converting on two of three power plays for what would prove to be the game-winning goals.
Forward Pat Kelly (#8) launches a hard shot at the net during pregame warmups.
Ronaldo Rojas (#9) and Jonah Dancer (#12) were the individual points leaders for your Raptors, both with two goals and one assist apiece. Defensive standouts included Ricky Orozco (#6) and Ayo Adebayo (#20). Jesus "Chuy" Ortiz (#18) started in goal for the Raptors, surrendering just four goals, and Luis "Luisito" Perez (#1) closed the door in the second half, giving up three.
Jonah Dancer (#12) after scoring his second goal of the night.
Dancer's performance was especially noteworthy, as he was recovering from a recent bout of Covid-19. "Wait until I'm really feeling good!" he joked after the game. "Seriously though, it was a great team effort against a tough opponent. We're all super excited to be able to get out and play in front of fans at the PowerHouse again."
Goalkeeper Luis "Luisito" Perez stops a shot on goal, with a defensive assist from Ayo Adebayo (#20). Also in the play for the Raptors: David Lapan-Islas (#15, leftmost facing camera); Jonah Dancer (#12); Pat Kelly (#8, rightmost).
"It was a great experience for all of us, especially our newer players," Johnson added. "Even players are surprised at how physical the indoor game can be, especially along the boards. It's rough! It definitely takes some getting used to, for both fans and players."
After winning, the team headed over to Cliff's Bar and Grill (221 2nd Ave. SE), the Raptors' official postgame party location, where they were joined by fans and well-wishers.
Your Raptors are back in action at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse this Saturday night, December 3, as the MASL2 season kicks off vs. the Iowa Demon Hawks. Kickoff time is 6:30 pm. Tickets are going fast, so get yours at the PowerHouse box office or order online.
Follow the Raptors on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iaraptorsfc) and Twitter (@IARaptorsFC). For club news, game analysis, and all things Raptors, follow the Raptors Report on Twitter (@IARaptorsReport).