Simmons' 1st goals rally Blast to win

2 in second half help clip Wings' win streak, 19-10, after comeback from 5-2

Soccer

January 06, 2001|By Bob Stratton | Bob Stratton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WICHITA, Kan. - Ronald Simmons couldn't have picked a better time to score his first two goals of the season.

The Blast defender scored a three-pointer in the third quarter to put Baltimore in the lead to stay. And in the fourth when the Wichita Wings pulled within one, it was Simmons who raced upfield to score to clinch a 19-10 victory at the Kansas Coliseum."[Simmons] has stayed after [practice] working on his shot, especially the three-pointer and it paid off," said Blast coach Kevin Healey.

The Blast, which plays host to Harrisburg tonight, gave Healey his first victory in Wichita, rallying from an early 5-2 deficit. Tarik Walker finished with a game-high seven points and Simmons had five.

Baltimore (11-3) ended Wichita's four-game winning streak and improves to 4-2 in road games, 2-0 against the Wings and 6-0 against National Conference teams.

Trailing 7-6, Simmons drilled a restart shot that hit the crossbar and went straight down. The ball hit Wings goalkeeper Jim Larkin's back and rolled into the net.

Less than two minutes later, Jason Dieter scored to lift Baltimore to an 11-7 lead.

The Wings rallied with a shoot-out goal and power-play goal from Dino Delevski, who finished with a team-high six points. The Wings then watched Walker take the kickoff toward the goal. He banged the ball off the wall to the speeding Simmons, who booted it in.

The goal, two seconds after Delevski's power-play goal, "was huge," Healey said."[Wichita] had all the momentum. What a momentum swing," he said.

Both teams had only two goals to show for their first-half performances. The Wings scored their pair on their first two shots. The Blast had a tougher time scoring.

Baltimore fired 18 shots in the first half but only nine got through defenders to Larkin. And he made seven saves in the half.

Trailing 5-2 going into the second quarter, the Blast finally got the ball past Larkin with 15 seconds remaining to pull within one at intermission. Paul Wright scored across the goal just inside the far post.

The Wings, playing without one of their top scorers in Jason Dunn, got a three-point blast from Delevski just two minutes into the game to take the lead.

Delevski beat Blast defenders to the ball near midfield and fired over a hard-charging Scott Hileman from beyond the yellow line. It was Delevski's sixth three-pointer this season.

The Blast kept offensive pressure on the Wings throughout the first quarter, gaining eight restart chances inside the yellow line. But Larkin, who was 4-0 with Wichita, made four saves on five shots and the Wings blocked five other shots.

The Blast cut the lead to one at the 9:08 mark. Danny Kelly, on the weak side, powered the ball past Larkin off a pass from Walker.

The Blast nearly took the lead a minute later when Kelly, taking a restart, hit the crossbar. With 27 seconds remaining, the Wings stretched their lead to three with a two-point goal by Braeden Cloutier.

Blast 2 2 73 8 - 19

Wichita 5 0 2 3 - 10

First quarter - Wichita, Delevski , (Rowland) 2:02; Blast, Kelly (Walker ) 9.08. Wichita Cloutier (Susi) 14.33. Penalties- None

Second quarter - Blast (Wright ) 14.45. Penalties-Wichita, Harding (Taunting); Blast Kelly (Taunting) 3;46

Third quarter - Blast, Walker (Wright) 7:08; Wichita ,Harding (Larkin) 9:19; Blast, Simmons 11:05; Blast, Dieter (Kremer) 13.24.

Fourth quarter - Wichita, Delevski; Wichita Delevski (Cloutier) 4.42; Blast Simmons (Walker) 5:40 Blast Tschantret (Dieter) 14.06; Blast, Cabral ; Blast Walker . 14.23;' Penalties: Blast Marcano holding 3:05, Wichita Cloutier misconduct 14:06.

Goalies: Blast, Hileman 21 shots, 16 saves, Wichita , Larkin Westcoat (0-1) 17 shots, 10 saves. Dunn 2 shots 0 saves A - 4,768.

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