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Hat trick sparks Storm’s 15-7 victory over first-place Ignition

Given every reason to go into Detroit and lose, the Chicago Storm performed a minor soccer miracle on Friday, snapping the Ignition’s 15-game home winning streak with a 15-7 victory.

The Storm (4-8) wrap up a three-game weekend road trip on Sunday in Milwaukee, and the trip will be pleasant after Friday’s incredible victory.

Chicago left New Jersey at 4 a.m. Friday after losing the night before to the Ironmen, arrived in Detroit and promptly fell behind 4-0 to the high-flying home team.

But with new target forward Dan Antoniuk playing his role and Ian Bennett running wild, the Storm outscored the Ignition 8-0 in the third quarter to take a 10-4 lead, then salted the game away on Andy Rosenband’s goal with 4:42 to go.

Friday’s decisive quarter featured a quick start for the Storm, as Chris Cerroni tallied just 26 seconds in. Twenty-eight seconds later, Bennett simply outran the defense and fired a shot that slid through Danny Waltman’s hands to make it 6-4.

Bennett also set up the next goal with another burst of speed; his shot was turned aside by Waltman to the feet of Alen Osmanovic, who scored his first goal with the Storm. Cerroni wrapped up the quarter by sticking in a loose ball forced by Antoniuk, who just passed his physical two hours before kickoff.

Bennett completed a hat trick and an eight-point night with a last-minute strike against the sixth attacker, moments after Detroit’s Ryan Mack had closed the gap to 12-7.

Chicago’s defense turned in its second consecutive solid shot-blocking performance with 16. Antoniuk, the fourth-leading scorer in the league last year, contributed three assists in his debut.

Next home action for the Storm is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. against Milwaukee. That’s followed by a 3 p.m. game Sunday, March 1 against Detroit. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling the Storm office at 1-866-STORM81 (1-866-786-7681).

Founded last summer by the Milwaukee Wave, Detroit Ignition, New Jersey Ironmen and Chicago Storm, the Xtreme Soccer League is more than an indoor soccer league. The Xtreme Soccer Xperience is an energetic and innovative 12-month sports lifestyle brand built around skilled soccer professionals, entertainment and fan participation -- both live and online. For more information, visit

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