Wes Wade ruined Hank Henry's debut as a Baltimore Blast goalkeeper last night by poking in a shot from in front of the goal with three seconds left, giving the San Diego Sockers an 8-7 victory over the Baltimore Blast.
Wade virtually picked the ball out of Henry's hands and pushed it into the net for his third goal of the evening before 7,423 at Baltimore Arena.
It was only the second victory of the season for San Diego (2-5). The Blast (2-4) lost its second straight home game.
Former Blast midfielder Paul Dougherty also scored three goals.
Dougherty, who fell out of favor with Blast coach Kenny Cooper last season for saying he "couldn't get fired up for 52 regular-season games," wasn't re-signed for this season.
Twenty-five seconds before Wade completed his hat trick, Henry looked the part of a hero when he stopped a shot by Wade and turned the ball over to the Blast offense.
Defender Angelo Panzetta had a chance to give the Blast the lead with 20 seconds left when he broke downfield, but he couldn't beat the last two defenders.
That set the stage for Wade. A cross from the left corner by San Diego's Kevin Crow sent the ball in front of the net, where it rattled around before bouncing to Wade, who did what he was supposed to do.
"We had three guys who could have cleared the ball," said Cooper. "That ball has to be cleared. It was another case where we didn't fight hard enough to win the ball. I can't blame Hank Henry. I thought he played an excellent game for just coming in two days ago."
Cooper said the Blast wasn't aggressive enough during the entire game.
"We failed to win the ball off the boards, and that led to a couple of goals," he said. "We're going to get tougher. We have to."
Cooper said he wasn't surprised that Dougherty scored three goals.
"Paul's been known to do things like this," said Cooper. "Last year, he scored a lot of big goals against San Diego for us after he had left them. When he gets inspired, he's a super player."
Dougherty returned to England last summer and played outdoor soccer because, he said, "They [Blast officials] didn't offer me enough to stay. They offered me something, but not much."
He said he was ready to stay in England and play outdoors when a call came from Sockers coach Ron Newman.
"I'd had some good times in San Diego and decided to go back out there," said Dougherty, who leads the Sockers in scoring (nine goals, two assists).
Newman said he had kept an eye on Dougherty after he wasn't signed by Baltimore.
"I always hoped I could get him to come back here, but I thought maybe he had made up his mind to stay in England," said Newman. "He had an urge to play outdoor with the World Cup and all that going on. I've always liked him as a player. He can help you even when he doesn't score. He has so much quickness."
Former Blast defender Glenn Carbonara, who didn't figure in Baltimore's plans this year, assisted on San Diego's first goal.
The Sockers had leads of 2-0 and 6-3 before the Blast rallied to tie the game at 7 on a header by Mark Mettrick with 4 minutes, 41 seconds left.
Mettrick had two goals and one assist, and teammate Billy Ronson had two goals and one assist.
Mettrick, a defender, scored a total of three goals in the past two games -- the first two that his father, John, visiting from Glossup, England, has seen him play in a Blast uniform.
Henry made 15 saves.
"I let the team down in the first three quarters," he said. "I let in some bad goals."