ST. LOUIS -- Before last night's game between the St. Louis Storm and the Baltimore Blast, members of the old St. Louis Steamers met in an alumni game.
The Storm might want to call on some of the old guard the next time they meet the Blast. St. Louis couldn't do any worse.
Despite never trailing in regulation, St. Louis dropped its ninth straight to the Blast last night when Billy Ronson scored 3 minutes, 46 seconds into overtime on the rebound of a shot by Angelo Panzetta, giving Baltimore a 6-5 win that moved Baltimore over .500 on the season at 6-5. St. Louis fell to 4-7.
Ronson said, "We work a lot in practice on our breaks. Angelo did a real nice job, and his shot hit the post and came right out to me, and I was able to hit it off my knee. That's soccer."
The Storm, which entered the then-Major Indoor Soccer League last season as an expansion team, has yet to beat the Blast, having dropped all seven games to Baltimore it its first season and going 0-for-2 this season.
The Blast had tied the game with less than seven minutes remaining on Domenic Mobilio's second goal of the game. Mobilio made a nice move around a Storm defender, and his low shot from in close eluded goalkeeper Slobo Ilijevski to make it 5-5.
St. Louis, which squandered an early two-goal advantage, had jumped ahead again off a free kick with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Storm forward Preki, more known for his shooting than his passing, knocked a short pass to David Eise on the left side. Eise's shot hit just inside the near post and squirted by Blast goalie Scott Manning to make it 5-4, St. Louis.
After trailing the entire game, Baltimore tied it less than five minutes into the third quarter when forward Tim Wittman put home a rebound of a shot by Ronson. The assist was Ronson's 17th of the season, tops in the MSL this season. Ronson also leads the Blast with 24 points.
"It's nice, but don't make a big deal out of it: it's still early in the season," Ronson said. "Besides, the bottom line in this game is winning. If you're scoring lots of points and you're not winning, then it's not satisfying."
Blast coach Kenny Cooper said: "We've battled back all year, and tonight was no exception. Even though we got down two goals in front of a big crowd, they hung in there, and that's a credit the team."
The Blast got off to a bad start when Bruce Savage went off for tripping Preki 5:32 into the game. Exactly one minute later, St. Louis forward Godrey Ingram spotted midfielder Thompson Usiyan wide open to the left of the goal mouth. Usiyan easily put it past Manning for his 13th goal of the season and a 1-0 St. Louis advantage.
Then, after taking a pass from Emil Dragicevic, Preki broke in down the right wing and powered his league-leading 18th goal by Manning at 13:17 of the first quarter to make it 2-0, St. Louis.
Whatever Cooper said to his team between quarters seemed to sink in quickly. The Blast got on the board less than two minutes into second quarter. Panzetta knocked a left-footed shot from the top of the box past Ilijevski at 1:25 for his first goal of the year. Mike Stankovic picked up the assist.
"If you're going to be a championship team, you have to be able to win on the road, not just at home. That's our goal on the road, to win every game," Cooper said. "Domenic Mobilio had a big game for us. We have several guys who are capable of putting the ball in the back of the net."
Panzetta's goal opened the gates, as each team scored two more goals before the half was over.