KANSAS CITY,MO. — KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After a 10-4 victory over the Baltimore Blast before 5,694 last night, the Kansas City Comets moved two games ahead of the Blast in the Major Soccer League's Eastern Division.
The margin, however, could shrink back to one because the teams meet again tonight in Baltimore. Blast coach Kenny Cooper is grateful, saying: "I'm kind of pleased we're playing them again right away. We haven't been playing great, but we're still in it."
The Comets took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, then finished well after the Blast closed to 4-2 in the third period. Baltimore, trailing 7-2, went to a sixth attacker midway through the fourth quarter and Kansas City scored its last three goals on shots into an empty net.
"We had nothing to lose at that stage, why not?" Cooper said. "We're just not scoring goals and not stopping them. Indecision sets in, and we're in a no-man's land. But things change fast in the MSL."
The Comets (12-8) have won three of four games from the Blast (10-10) this season.
Kevin Hundelt led the Comets with the first hat trick of his four-year MSL career, and Jan Goossens scored five points on two goals and three assists.
Hundelt scored his second goal of the game on a power play, and Paul Peschisolido punched in another for a 6-2 lead late in the third quarter.
Then the Comets protected the lead by killing their seventh penalty in eight attempts at home this season. Carl Valentine's fourth-quarter score gave Kansas City a five-goal cushion, and Hundelt completed his hat trick with an empty-net shot.
Chris Simon, David Vaudreuil, Rusty Troy and Domenic Mobilio scored Baltimore's goals.
Kansas City, which had not led at the half since Nov. 25, dominated the first quarter and held a 4-1 margin at halftime. The Comets outshot the Blast, 10-4, in the opening period in gaining their 3-0 lead.
Goossens took advantage of a fortunate bounce to open the scoring. Kim Roentved's shot bounded off the wall just in front of Goossens, who was to the left of the goal, and Goossens converted the carom into his 22nd goal of the season.
Hundelt and Doug McLagan teamed up for Kansas City's second goal, Hundelt taking the pass and ripping in a 25-foot shot. Ted Eck scored the third goal, racing to a loose ball in front of the net and drilling it from 10 feet.
Goossens made it 4-0 for the Comets early in the second quarter. Gino Schiraldi came down the right side and passed the ball into the box, where Goossens was matched up with the Blast's Richard Chinapoo. Goossens spun away from the defender and shot the ball past Scott Manning.
The Blast had difficulty trying to score in the first half, and Simon's goal was reflective of the effort. Simon was at an odd angle from the goal on the left side, but somehow managed to turn Angelo Panzetta's pass into his second score of the season. The goal came on a restart after a foul against Kansas City and was set up when Dale Mitchell worked the ball to Panzetta.
Mitchell just missed a goal in the last two minutes of the half, when Comets keeper Jim Gorsek fell on his slow roller at the goal mouth.
Baltimore 0 1 1 2 -- 4
Kansas City 3 1 2 4 -- 10
First quarter--1. Kansas City, Goossens 23 (Roentved), 3:41; 2. Kansas City, Hundelt 6 (McLagan), 10:55; 3. Kansas City, Eck 10 (Valentine), 11:35. Penalties--none.
Second quarter--4. Kansas City, Goossens 24 (Schiraldi), 4:21; 5. Baltimore, Simon 2 (Panzetta), 5:39. Penalties--Mobilio, Balt (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:12; Fraser, KC (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:12.
Third quarter--6. Baltimore, Vaudreuil 4 (Mitchell), 1:50; 7. Kansas City, Hundelt 7 (Valentine),3:45 ppg; 8. Kansas City, Peschisolido 11 (Goossens), 13:14. Penalties--Baltimore bench (too many men in field, served by Mobilio), 2:58; Hundelt, KC (tripping), 13:42.
Fourth quarter--9. Kansas City, Valentine 17 (Goossens), 5:43; 10. Kansas City, Hundelt 8 (Goossens), 8:33; 11. Baltimore, Troy 10 (Vaudreuil), 11:08; 12. Kansas City, Eck 11 (Valentine), 13:04; 13. Baltimore, Mobilio 19 (Troy), 13:32; 14. Kansas City, Ashton 5 (Valentine), 14:54. Penalties--none.
Shots on goal--Baltimore, 4-11-2-10--27. Kansas City, 10-5-8-9--32. Goalies--Baltimore, Manning, 26 shots, 10 saves; Savage, 1-0; Ronson, 5-3. Kansas City, Gorsek, 27-8. A--6,594.