Season's top home crowd sees Blast fall Sockers win, 7-5, with late burst

January 27, 1991|By Bill Free

The game had been over for 55 minutes, but Baltimore Blast coach Kenny Cooper was still steaming in the locker room.

"I'm not putting up with this," said Cooper as he smashed hihand into the blackboard. "We don't have people who are willing to stick their necks out to beat San Diego. There are people dying in Saudi Arabia who would love to watch us play, and we go out and play like this."

Cooper stormed out of the locker room and came back a feminutes later. It was almost as if Cooper refused to leave the scene of another home defeat to the San Diego Sockers.

The Sockers dealt the Blast a 7-5 defeat last night at thBaltimore Arena before 9,417, giving San Diego a 3-0 hold over the Blast at the Arena this season.

San Dieg forwared Paul Wright and midfielder Paul Dougherty were talking confidently about playing on the Blast'home field.

"I like to play here because it's a small field, and I don't have t run as much," said Wright.

"This is a nice building to play in," said Dougherty.

That kind of talk only served to make Cooper sicker. He says thBlast should own teams at home, and suddenly the Sockers were talking big in Cooper's back yard, where the largest crowd of the season had shown up.

"As an organization, we bust our tail to put people in the stands,said Cooper. "This is a game we have to win. But apparently we have some people who are willing to settle for being second best to San Diego. It doesn't have to be that way. They can be beat."

The fact that San Diego coach Ron Newman called timeout wit34 seconds left and the game virtually out of reach didn't help improve Cooper's feelings.

Cooper and Newman exchanged words over the timeout aftethe game.

"I told Ron how I felt," said Cooper. "Ron can say whatever hwants, but this has happened before in our games. It's part of the scenario in this series."

Newman defended the timeout. "I told Coops that I've seeteams score two goals in 34 seconds before. It [the timeout] was planned before we scored the seventh goal anyway," he said.

The Blast started strong with a 3-1 lead at the end of the firsquarter, but San Diego scored six of the next eight goals to win going away.

Wright (two goals, two assists) and Waad Hirmez (two goals, onassist) led the Sockers' charge.

Hirmez, who was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and lived there for 1years before coming to San Diego, broke out of a scoring slump that has followed him since the start of the war in the Persian Gulf on Jan. 16.

"Everything happened at once, and it's affected my play," saiHirmez. "At times, my mind just wanders. The only way I can forget it is by us winning or if I do well."

Hirmez has two uncles, two aunts and 12 cousins in Baghdadand he worries every day about how they are doing.

"I don't hear anything about them," he said.

Mark Mettrick (two goals) led the Blast, and Domenic Mobili(one goal, one assist) had a decent game.

But Mobilio wasn't happy at all.

"I'm sick of hearing this thing about losing to San Diego," saiMobilio. "Some guys don't want to play against them."

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