Buffalo silences Blast again, 18-14

Baltimore drops 4th in row to Blizzard on 2 late goals

Soccer

March 09, 2001|By Lary Bump | Lary Bump,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BUFFALO, N.Y. - An eight-second lapse undid more than 42 minutes of stout defense as the Blast once again came apart in the fourth quarter and, yielding two two-point goals in the game's final 61 seconds, lost to the Buffalo Blizzard, 18-14, last night.

The loss, the Blast's fourth in a row to Buffalo, dropped Baltimore a game behind first-place Harrisburg in the National Professional Soccer League's American Conference. In fact, with seven games to play, Baltimore trails Philadelphia, also a game behind, by five percentage points (.581-.576).

And fourth-place Buffalo, having won nine of 12, is now just two games behind the Blast.

The Blast came back from first-quarter deficits of 4-0 and 6-3 and held an 11-9 lead about halfway through the fourth quarter. But with 6:47 left, Jim Hesch drilled home a two-point goal off a restart to tie the score.

Eight seconds later, Buffalo's Doug Miller got the ball off Baltimore's kickoff and, from past midfield, sailed a shot over goalkeeper Scott Hileman that bounced into the net for a 14-11 lead.

Said an exasperated Blast coach Kevin Healey, "We had a man in the wall move on a free kick, and then we give up the ball on our kickoff. ... Those were intellectual mistakes. You don't expect that at this stage of the season."

With 3:54 left, the Blast tied the score on Mark Thomas' first three-point goal this season. But out of a flurry in front of Baltimore's goal, Buffalo's Randy Pikuzinski lifted the game-winner over the sprawling Hileman with 1:01 remaining. An empty-netter followed with 29 seconds left.

Blast 5 0 6 3 -- 14

Buffalo 6 2 1 9 -- 18

First quarter: 1. Buffalo, Bartolomeu, 2 pt., (Miller), :50; 2. Buffalo, Crawford, 2 pt., (Miller), 5:41; 3. Blast, Tschantret, 3 pt., 7:18; 4. Buffalo, Zavala, 2 pt., (Hesch), 10:52; 5. Blast, Johnson, 2 pt., (Wright), 12:37.

Second quarter: 6. Buffalo, Butcher, 2 pt., (Handsor), 4:53.

Third quarter: 7. Blast, Walker, 2 pt., (Tschantret), 2:36; 8. Blast, Kremer, 2 pt., (Walker), 5:16; 9. Buffalo, Crawford, 1 pt., 8:00; 10. Blast, Johnson, 2 pt., (Neely), 9:36. Penalty: Blast, Kremer (holding), 8:00.

Fourth quarter: 11. Buffalo, Hesch, 2 pt., 8:13; 12. Buffalo, Miller, 3 pt., (Pikuzinski), 8:21; 13. Blast, Thomas, 3 pt., (Tschantret), 11:06; 14.

Buffalo, Pikuzinski, 2 pt., 13:59; 15. Buffalo, Barber, 2 pt., (Little), 14:31.

Shots on goal: Blast 12-1-10-7--30, Buffalo 7-4-9-6--28. Power-play opportunities: Blast 0-for-0, Buffalo 0-for-1. Goalies: Blast, Hileman, 17 shots, 9 saves; Buffalo, Finnerty, 20 shots, 14 saves. Att: 3,008.

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