Wave repels Blast's late flurry Milwaukee wins, 12-8, as fourth-quarter rally led by Walker falls short

November 08, 1998|By Tamira Surprenant | Tamira Surprenant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE -- Tarik Walker may prove to be the best acquisition the Blast ever made.

Although Walker's team dropped a 12-8 decision to the Milwaukee Wave last night at the Bradley Center, the Blast had a late offensive flurry, and Walker stepped up with a goal and two assists to lead the way.

Milwaukee (3-0), however, proved why it is the defending National Professional Soccer League champion at the expense of the Blast (0-2).

The Blast had three goals in the fourth quarter, led by Walker's 1: 52 into the period. Walker took a bounce and kicked in a goal from about 12 feet into the corner of the net, cutting the deficit to 8-4.

Midfielder Barry Stitz then scored a goal off an assist from Walker 2: 08 later to cut Milwaukee's lead to 8-6.

After forward Todd Dusosky scored his second goal of the night a minute later to put the Wave ahead 10-6, Walker added one last assist to Doug Neely with 3: 57 left to make it 10-8.

Neely then dressed as the sixth attacker, but King scored the final goal into an empty net, giving Milwaukee the victory.

Walker created some history in a Wave uniform before becoming a member of the Blast. Last night, Walker was treated to cheers from Wave fans while being presented with a ring signifying his role with the 1998 NPSL championship team during a pre-game ceremony.

Milwaukee, a flagship franchise of the NPSL, won its first championship in the 14-year history of the league. Walker, a target power forward, was fifth in scoring for Milwaukee, finishing with 78 points. He was also a key figure during the playoffs, totaling 28 points, which included 10 two-point goals.

Walker, who was born and raised in Montgomery County, expressed his desire to play in his home state, and after discussions with the Milwaukee organization, was traded to the Blast in July for forward Matt Tirschman.

"I've known Tarik ever since he came out of college," Blast coach Kevin Healy said. "He's a class kid. Milwaukee did a wonder of good for him. He is a winner and a leader on our team. He is going to be an impact player for us."

Said Walker: "Last year with Milwaukee was tremendous, but I wanted to be home. We needed to get that first win under our belts for the confidence factor, but I feel confident we'll be there at the end to contend."

Penalties in the third quarter didn't help the Blast. The Blast's Jason Dieter and Milwaukee's Glenn Carbonara were given two-minute penalties for elbowing with 33 seconds left in the quarter.

As the teams were preparing for its shootouts, Neely started to argue with an official about the calls and was served with a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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