Blast warms up too late as Heat holds on, 16-15

Soccer

11-0 second-half surge fails to catch Harrisburg

February 13, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The old saying about needing just two extra minutes probably could be applied to the Blast.

Consider that the Blast ran off the game's last 11 points, dominated play in the fourth quarter and kept the Harrisburg Heat scoreless for about 25 minutes.

With all that, though, the Blast fell just short of erasing a 12-point lead, falling, 16-15, before 5,806 at the Baltimore Arena last night.

"We had things going in our direction at the end, running off 11 straight points," Blast coach Kevin Healey said. "We ran out of time, but they put 60 minutes on the clock at the beginning of the game. We have to play within that."

Blast forward Mark Thomas scored the game's final two goals at 10: 38 and 13: 05 to cut the deficit to one with two minutes left. But even with a sixth attacker and a furious attack in the Heat zone, the Blast was unable to catch up.

It marks the fourth straight win for the Heat.

"Harrisburg came in and did a good job," Thomas said. "We dug ourselves our a hole in the first half. I don't think it was because we weren't trying. But things just didn't go right for us."

The Blast (17-11) had won its last three games against Harrisburg. But the Heat came into last night's game playing its best of the season, upsetting Philadelphia and Cleveland on the road last weekend.

The Heat (11-16) scored eight unanswered second-period goals to take a 12-4 halftime lead.

Kyle Swords started the scoring at 2: 31 of the second period on a restart goal from forward Gino DiFlorio, putting the Heat up 6-4. Then Heat midfielder Drew Kaufmann took over by scoring the next three goals, all two-pointers with the assists coming from three different players.

The final goal came after the Blast had a sustained attack in the Heat defensive zone.

Things did not start off any better at the beginning of the second half for the Blast. Heat forward Eloy Salgado stretched the lead to 14-4 at 2: 41, and Bernie Lilavois put in another two-point goal two minutes later.

But Shane Dougherty started the final Blast run at 5: 55 of the third period with a two-point goal assisted by Tarik Walker. The Blast cut the lead to 16-9 heading into the fourth period before its final surge fell short.

The Blast is 0-10 when trailing after three periods.

"You can't spot a team like that points," Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman said. "They have nothing to lose at this point."

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