Blast's familiar foe brings familiar result

20-12 win is third straight over KiXX this season

November 07, 1999|By Bob Cooney | Bob Cooney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHILADELPHIA -- A rivalry between the Blast and the Philadelphia KiXX seemed almost inevitable. The schedule-makers of the National Professional Soccer League have the East Division foes facing each other four times in the first five weeks of the season.

Last night was Game 3 at the First Union Spectrum, and for the third straight time, the Blast defeated the defending division champs, this time by 20-12.

Denison Cabral, who was the NPSL's Offensive Player of the Month for October, scored five goals, and Scott Hileman played a strong game in the net to lead the Blast (4-0).

"It's difficult to play this many times against a team early on," Blast coach Kevin Healey said. "You get to know each other so well. In the second half, we put more pressure on defense. We forced them to play the ball earlier, which allowed us to keep the ball longer and play the way we've been playing all season."

The Blast opened the scoring with 5: 53 left in the first when Lance Johnson scored from the right slot on a pass from Barry Stitz. Philadelphia (1-3) took a 4-2 lead at the end of the quarter.

Danny Kelly notched his second goal of the season on a three-pointer from the top of the right arc. Kelly lobbed his shot over three defenders and past screened KiXX goalie Pete Pappas.

Shawn Beyer scored a three-pointer over Hileman, and the KiXX took a 7-5 lead at the half.

It could have been worse, if not for Hileman, who stoned the KiXX time and time again.

"This team [the Blast] is used to scoring lots of goals," Hileman said. "We wanted to score a lot in the first half. If we play defense, goals on the other end will come. At halftime, we realized we weren't playing well. We settled down, got composed and played the way we know we can."

In the third quarter, the Blast went on a scoring frenzy. After the KiXX extended the lead to 9-5, Paul Wright corralled a loose ball off the boards and hit a laser to cut the deficit to 9-7. Cabral put home his own rebound to tie it 9-9, then Tarik Walker set up Cabral with a sliding pass, enabling the diminutive forward to score for an 11-9 lead the Blast would not relinquish.

Cabral hit a shootout to make it 12-9.

Blast 2 3 11 4 -- 20

Philadelphia 4 3 4 1 -- 12

First period--1, Blast, Johnson 2 (Stitz), 4: 07; 2. Philadelphia, Martinez 2, 10: 13; 3. Philadelphia, Martinez (Tabrizi), 13: 43.

Second period--4, Blast, Kelly 3, 2: 43; 5. Philadelphia, Beyer 3, 5: 04.

Third period--6, Philadelphia, Mobilio 2 (Martinez), 1: 51; 7. Blast, Wright 2, 3: 14; 8. Blast, Cabral 2 (Neely), 4: 37; 9. Blast, Cabral 2 (Walker), 7: 11; 10. Blast, Cabral 1, 7: 21; 11. Philadelphia, Hunjak 2 (Tabrizi), 8: 55; 12. Blast, Thomas 3, 11: 24; 13. Blast, Cabral 3, 14: 58.

Fourth period--14. Philadelphia, Martinez 1, 5: 15; 15. Blast, Cabral 1, 9: 02; 16. Blast, Hileman 3, 14: 19.

Shots on goal-- Blast 6-6-10-527. Philadelphia 11-8-9-634. Power-play opportunities--Blast 0 of 1. Philadelphia 0 of 0. Goalies--Blast, Hileman 6-4-6-4 (20 saves). Philadelphia, Pappas 3-3-6-2 (14 saves), D'Ambra 0-0-0-1 (1 save). A--7,397.

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