Cedar Rapids Rampage skid continues in 5-3 loss to Harrisburg

Major Arena Soccer League: Rampage (6-8) have lost four in a row and five of six

Cedar Rapids Rampage’s Osvaldo Rojas (77) fends off Harrisburg Heat’s Jose Luiz Birche (15) in their arena soccer game at US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Rampage’s Osvaldo Rojas (77) fends off Harrisburg Heat’s Jose Luiz Birche (15) in their arena soccer game at US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — It was a goal that signaled trouble for the Cedar Rapids Rampage.

Trailing the Harrisburg Heat late in the second quarter, 2-1, the Rampage defense surrendered a goal with just 10 seconds until halftime. The score produced a margin Cedar Rapids would chase the rest of the game.

“We stuck to the game plan for the first quarter, quarter and a half,” Rampage Coach Ante Cop said after Cedar Rapids lost for the fourth time in a row, 5-3, in a Major Arena Soccer League game Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Center. “I don’t know who told them to start falling off. They just did.”

The loss drops the Rampage to 6-8, suddenly just a game and a half ahead of Kansas City for the second and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Cedar Rapids has dropped all four contests since Cop was brought aboard Dec. 29.

“We had chance after chance after chance,” Cop said. “Harrisburg was great in front of the goal and took advantage of their opportunities.”

Cedar Rapids was missing midfielder Bobby Hurwitz (knee) and forward Tony Walls (illness).

Rampage forward Taylor Bond broke a scoreless tie with his 10th goal of the season, but Harrisburg closed the half with three goals, including the aforementioned dagger from David Mellor second before halftime.

Two minutes into the third quarter, a Marcos Shantel goal extended the Harrisburg lead to 4-1. Cedar Rapids got no closer than two the rest of the way.

Gordy Gurson and Alex Bradley also notched goals for the Rampage, while Gurson posted an assist on Bradley’s score.

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“We gave it our all, for sure,” Gurson said. “We left it all out on the field, it’s just balls aren’t bouncing our way.”

Five different players scored for Harrisburg (5-8), including defender Lucio Gonzaga, who also tallied an assist.

Cedar Rapids hosts Milwaukee (12-0) on Thursday. The undefeated Wave routed the Rampage twice last week by identical 11-5 scores.

“They didn’t win here last year, so they got one this year,” Gurson said. “This game on Thursday, we’re ready for them.”

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

Harrisburg Heat 5, Cedar Rapids Rampage 3

Harrisburg 0 3 1 1—5

Cedar Rapids 0 1 1 1—3

Shots on goal — Harrisburg 33, Cedar Rapids 27.

First quarter

Scoring — None.

Second quarter

Scoring — 1. Cedar Rapids: Taylor Bond, 13:04; 2. Harrisburg: Lucio Gonzaga, 8:28; 3. Harrisburg: 3. Val Teixeira (Thiago Freitas), 7:48; 4. Harrisburg: David Mellor, 0:10.

Third quarter

Scoring — 5. Harrisburg: Marcos Shantel (Dominic Francis), 12:54; 6. Cedar Rapids: Gordy Gurson, 12:00.

Fourth quarter

Scoring — 7. Harrisburg: Danny Diprima, 14:26; 8. Cedar Rapids: Alex Bradley (Gordy Gurson), 12:59.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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