Weary Blast unable to catch Wave

Playing second game in 15 hours, Baltimore rallies late but falls, 10-6

Soccer

November 11, 2001|By Charles F. Gardner | Charles F. Gardner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE -- The Blast was faced with a tough turnaround yesterday afternoon.

Less than 15 hours after defeating the Kansas City Comets at home, the Blast was back on the field in Milwaukee, playing the two-time defending indoor champion Wave. Although the Blast rallied with two power-play goals in the second half, it fell short in a 10-6 Major Indoor Soccer League loss at the Bradley Center.

"I was proud of the guys that way," Blast coach Kevin Healey said. "Personally, I got one hour of sleep. We had to be at the airport at 4:30 [a.m.] Milwaukee time.

"But we proved we could overcome that, and we certainly were in the game. We came in here to win a game, not to just compete. We're disappointed we didn't."

After closing within 8-6 on midfielder Denison Cabral's power-play goal early in the final period, it appeared the Blast (3-3) might be able to overtake Milwaukee (3-1).

Wave veteran Joe Reiniger then scored an insurance goal at 7:21 of the fourth quarter, taking advantage of a misplayed header by Blast midfielder J.J. Kremer.

When Kremer inadvertently headed the ball toward his own goal, Reiniger raced into the box, chested the ball down and tapped it home with his left foot.

"It was a tough break. We gave up a ball in a bad situation," Healey said. "But we played very hard today."

The Blast tried to rally by inserting Paul Wright as a sixth attacker in the final three minutes. But the Wave defense was able to fend off the Blast's attack as Milwaukee won its third straight game.

During the Blast's final flurry, Wave goalkeeper Victor Nogueira made a remarkable save, deflecting a shot by Guiliano Celenza and knocking it off the crossbar.

Milwaukee took a 4-2 lead at 11:17 of the first period, as Reiniger's dead-ball touch from the near boards went to teammate Greg Howes, who ripped a left-footed shot past Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman.

Less than two minutes later, Reiniger lined up on the left wing and pounded a shot off the end boards on a restart. The ball bounced directly to Wave forward Brian Loftin, who touched the ball with the outside of his right foot into the corner of the net.

Milwaukee extended its lead to 8-2 early in the second period on a goal by defender Martin Dugas, who hammered a shot to the roof of the net. Dugas stepped up and converted after midfielder Marcelo Fontana was able to hold off Blast midfielder Danny Kelly and keep possession in the box.

But the Blast closed its deficit on the power play after intermission. An intentional hand ball by Wave defender Sinisa Alebic led to the first tally just three seconds later, at 7:23 of the third period, when Wright scored off a restart from Kelly.

Baltimore scored another two-pointer early in the fourth period after a pushing call put Wave defender Troy Dusosky in the penalty box. With two seconds remaining on the power play, Cabral struck a left-footed shot that bounced off the boards and off the back of Nogueira. The shot trickled into the goal to trim Milwaukee's lead to 8-6 at 3:17 of the quarter.

Blast 2 0 2 2 -- 6

Milwaukee 6 2 0 2 -- 10

First quarter: 1. Blast, Celenza (Cabral), 1:09. 2. Milwaukee, Sibiya (Reiniger), 3:02. 3. Milwaukee, Howes (Reiniger), restart, 11:17. 4. Milwaukee, Loftin (Reiniger), restart, 12:49. Second quarter: 4. Milwaukee, Dugas (Fontana), 2:04. Third quarter: 5. Blast, Wright (Kelly), restart pp, 7:23. Penalties--Alebic, Milwaukee (intentional hand ball), 7:20. Fourth quarter: 6. Blast, Cabral (Barber), ppg, 3:17. 7. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 7:21. Penalties --Dusosky, Milwaukee(pushing), 1:18. Shots--Blast 23, Milwaukee 27. Saves--Blast 15(Hileman 15), Milwaukee 9 (Nogueira 9). Blocks--Blast 7 (Bowers 4), Milwaukee 11 (Carbonara, Osmanovic, Dugas 2). Fouls--Blast 12, Milwaukee 22. Power-play goals--Blast 2-for-2. A--5,484. T--1:54.

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