Blast stymies Heat for 18-6 victory

Harrisburg is shut out for final three quarters

January 19, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

A shutout for one quarter in indoor soccer is impressive. The Blast did it for three last night.

The last three, in fact, which is the next best thing to a true shutout. That was on the way to an 18-6 win over the Harrisburg Heat (7-13) before 2,127 at Baltimore Arena.

"It is pretty remarkable considering the number of chances a team gets," said defender Todd Hicks, who also contributed to the offense with a three-point goal in the first quarter.

"To ever shut a team out in any quarter is remarkable. It takes a lot of hard work from the forwards to defenders, blocking shots and pressuring. It was just a great team effort down there."

The defense has been a primary reason the Blast (14-8) has won eight of its last nine games. In three of the past four games, the Blast has allowed six points or fewer.

Last night's performance camein what was the third game in four days for the Blast.

"You can't ask more from a ballclub than how we played tonight in the last three quarters," Blast coach Kevin Healey said.

"It's conditioning and depth. I think everybody on our team can play. We use everybody. We're very deep and a well-conditioned team. That has been proven throughout this season."

That depth was most evident by the number of goal scorers the Blast had last night. Denison Cabral was the only multiple scorer, with three on shootout goals and one a two-pointer.

The other 13 points came from six different players. For Healey, that is a good thing. When everybody is scoring, everybody is happy and usually the Blast is winning.

Cabral, the only player on pace to go over the 100-point mark, recorded six points, giving him 79 this season.

"We did our job defensively, and then the chances starting coming," Cabral said. "We know that's the way to win games."

His shootout goals helped break things open for the Blast in the second period. Down 6-5 after one, Derrick Marcano gave the Blast a 7-6 lead at 5: 38 in the second, followed two minutes later by the first of Cabral's second-quarter shootout goals. Cabral's goals came at the expense of two bad Harrisburg penalties, for an intentional handball by Heat goalkeeper Doug Petras and an illegal timeout.

Lance Johnson and Erik Rasmussen sandwiched two-point goals between Cabral's, giving the Blast a 13-6 halftime lead.

Cabral and Barry Stitz added two-point goals in the third period.

"We got back to fundamentals, blocking shots and helping each other defensively," Healey said. "We were a little weak at that in the first quarter. If we do that, we know we can create offensive chances off of that."

Harrisburg 6 0 0 0 -- 6

Blast 5 8 3 2 -- 18

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