Blast fizzles, 16-14, in overtime

Near-win in regulation vs. KiXX turns to loss playing short-handed


November 04, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA - Battling the slippery First Union Spectrum turf as much as the home team, the Blast found another way to finish on the wrong end of the score against its primary nemesis, falling in overtime to the KiXX, 16-14, last night in front of 5,465 fans.

After Blast defender Sean Bowers was sent off following his second overtime foul, a two-minute penalty, KiXX defender Pat Morris finished off a feed from Cesidio Colasante to continue what's becoming a trend when the teams meet: by game's end, it's the KiXX doing the celebrating.

The KiXX remained the league's only unbeaten team at 3-0, while the Blast dropped its second straight to fall to 2-2 for the season.

In the first meeting since the KiXX eliminated the Blast in last season's NPSL conference final, the Blast was 1:07 away from victory in regulation when the KiXX tied the game at 14 on a goal by Matt Brooks.

Following that goal, Philadelphia coach Omid Namazi was called for a bench misconduct, giving Blast midfielder Denison Cabral a shootout opportunity.

Cabral's first shot was smothered by KiXX keeper Peter Pappas and his rebound try went in after the allotted five seconds. Or did it? Cabral and the Blast felt it went in before the five seconds had elapsed.

"I'm confident when I do the five seconds because I practice that over and over and I know what I'm doing," Cabral said. "I know it wasn't five seconds. But there's nothing you can do about it. I did what I normally do, so there's nothing you can do."

Cabral saw limited time because of a virus that kept him out of practice most of the week.

Cabral (three two-point goals and an assist for seven points) and forward Lee Tschantret (two two-point goals and two assists for six points) provided most of the Blast's power, but it wasn't enough to offset an eight-point performance by KiXX veteran Kevin Sloan and the overtime heroics by Morris.

Blast coach Kevin Healey was far more upset about the slippery turf that caused dangerous playing conditions and the controversially quick whistle from the referee than his team's effort.

"I've got nothing to say but good things about our players," Healey said. "If we fight that hard every time out, we're going to win a lot of games. I don't like to bad-mouth anybody, but the league has to look at what's going on."

Consecutive goals from Cabral midway through the fourth quarter - Paul Wright recorded his eight and ninth assists - gave the Blast a 14-12 lead with 8:48 left.

That lead held until Brooks deflected a shot from Sloan with 1:07 left. The KiXX controlled the ball most of the extra time, finally finding the game-winner after the Blast had killed the first 1:27 of the man advantage.

At the start, the KiXX chipped away and, before you knew it, had a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks largely to Sloan, who started the scoring with a one-point shootout goal in the first period and then hit an unlikely three-point goal from the right side 2:12 into the second period.

NOTES: Forward Giuliano Celenza missed his second straight game with a hip pointer.

Blast 0 6 6 4 0 - 14

KiXX 3 3 2 4 2 - 16

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