Blast stays on good-time roll Ronson scores three, Harbor his first to calm Storm, 7-5

December 01, 1991|By Bill Free

It was like old times in the Baltimore Blast locker room last night.

Owner Ed Hale stopped by to congratulate the team on another victory, Billy Ronson was talking about scoring goals again and coach Kenny Cooper was describing how three lines had helped turn the Blast around.

That's what four straight victories will do for a team that got off to a 1-4 start after a 21-31 finish last season.

Last night, Baltimore rolled past the St. Louis Storm for a 7-5 victory at the Baltimore Arena, as Ronson scored three goals.

Also, the Blast was helped by a successful home debut by forward Jean Harbor, who scored his first Major Soccer League goal after getting two assists in his first two games with the team on the road.

Harbor brought the crowd of 6,280 to its feet early in the fourth quarter when he dribbled around St. Louis defender Greg Muhr and drilled a shot into the net from 35 feet to give Baltimore a 6-2 lead.

Harbor also came close to scoring two other goals last night and continued to improve his overall play.

The Blast (5-4) has won all three games since Harbor signed two weeks ago.

"Jean's given us a new dimension," said Cooper. "He helps us run and gives us three good lines. Everybody is untracked for us now, including Billy Ronson. It was just a matter of time before he started scoring."

Ronson had scored only one goal in eight games before last night.

It seemed as if the sight of Waad Hirmez playing for the Storm psyched up Ronson, who didn't exactly get along with Hirmez during his short stint with the Blast earlier this season.

"Let's just say now we have a team where everybody runs and fights for each other," Ronson said.

Hirmez, who had one assist after just signing yesterday morning, refused to be drawn into controversy with any of the Blast players, but he did say: "I can feel a little hate from some of their players. But I hold no grudges. It's a dead issue.

"I'm a pro and can put it behind me. I fit more into St. Louis's style of play than I do Kenny Cooper's."

Cooper said he, "wished Waad well. I'm sorry it didn't work out here for him."

For Harbor, it was an exciting night, as he proved to his loyal local followers that he could score in the MSL.

"I'm just glad I was able to do OK and not disappoint the people behind me," Harbor said. "I'm still trying to improve and have a ways to go. It was a great feeling to have the people cheer for me when I was introduced."

NOTES--The long-awaited new carpet was installed at Baltimore Arena in time for last night's game. There were some ripples in the surface, but Drew Forrester, the Blast's vice president of soccer operations, said he wasn't concerned. "It's new and stiff and will be all right," said Forrester. "It's state-of-the-art carpet."

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