Fourth quarter is blast for hosts

Blast breaks open game with record 19 points for 34-15 romp over K.C.

February 21, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

It seemed two things would hold true for the fourth quarter of yesterday's Blast game against the Kansas City Attack.

First, the game would continue to be close because it was throughout and the Blast held a 15-13 lead heading into the final period. And second, goals would continue to be scored.

Only the latter was true. Goals were scored, but the vast majority of them were by the Blast, and it turned the game into a 34-15 blowout before 5,283 at Baltimore Arena.

The simplest way to put the results of that final period: Things just fell apart for the Attack (15-13), which gave up a National Professional Soccer League-record 19 points.

Blast coach Kevin Healey said he felt good about his team's ability to score heading into the fourth quarter. But to outscore another team 19-2 in one period?

"You can't predict scoring 19, but we did feel like we could score," Healey said. "We don't lay back. We go at people, and that is the way we play best.

"When a team falls down like that, they will go at you. They took chances. It was just that we made them pay for it."

It was the first five minutes of the period that stopped the Attack. The Blast (19-11) got five straight two-point goals from five players.

Nine goals were scored in the period for the Blast, the most for it in a quarter this season.

The Blast also set season highs for goals in a half (13), points in a half (24), goals in a game (17) and points in a game over the past two seasons.

"The last period is where our fitness and individual speed takes over," defender Lance Johnson said.

"We know that at halftime, if it's close, we have a good chance at winning because the other team is going to tire. We know that the fourth quarter is our quarter, and if it's close, we are going to win. But you don't expect to score 19 points."

But the Blast, which had a season-high eight players score, did not seemed overly impressed by its performance after the game.

Mark Thomas, who had the biggest afternoon by becoming the first Blast player to go for the cycle this season while scoring five goals, spoke of the team's defense and preparing for next week.

"We are explosive, but it all revolves around the team defense," Thomas said. "And that includes everybody from the backs to the forwards."

This was the second straight win for the Blast over a division leader after beating Montreal Friday. Kansas City had won four straight, and the Blast is 2-1 on its five-game homestand.

"We had an excellent weekend," Healey said. "We challenged the guys and said, `This is a playoff-type weekend. Let's see how we can do.' And it turned out to be our best weekend of the year."

Kansas City 2 5 6 2 -- 15

Blast 4 4 7 19 -- 34

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