Blast hits another pothole in road: 9-8 loss

Team falls for 4th time in four tries as visitor

Soccer

November 25, 2001|By Michael Bullock | Michael Bullock,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Thus far, if the Blast is scheduled for a Major Indoor Soccer League road game, chalk up a loss.

Before a crowd of 3,705 last night at the State Farm Show Arena, the Blast fell for the fourth time in as many tries away from home as Harrisburg posted a 9-8 victory.

Denison Cabral scored two goals for the Blast (4-5), which was down 9-6 late before Giuliano Celenza tapped in a sixth-attacker goal with 1:38 left.

The Blast remained on the attack for the rest of the game, but when Sean Bowers' restart from the right wing sailed wide of the left post, the visitors were saddled with another loss.

Baltimore coach Kevin Healey said, "We're disappointed, but we're still confident. We were great on the road last year. We just need to get over the hurdle and we'll be fine. We had a chance to win tonight, but we didn't come through."

Harrisburg (5-3), which was playing its third game in four days, won its fifth straight. The Heat opened the season with three losses in a row.

Playing without a great deal of spark throughout most of the first half, the Blast was able to get back into it quickly with the help of circumstances best described as unique.

Then again, this is indoor soccer, where unique has a different definition.

With Harrisburg's starting keeper, Paolo Ceccarelli, carted off midway through the first half with an apparent knee injury, Doug Petras (5-1, 11 saves) wasn't tested severely as the Heat built a 5-0 lead.

But when Vinny Marcotrigiano was whistled for a foul on the Blast's Paul Wright just outside the box, an animated Petras took exception to the call and ended up being sent off.

For five minutes.

That put Harrisburg defender Matt Tanzini in the net for Cabral's shootout attempt, as well as for Bowers' restart three-pointer that followed.

Those two scores helped the Blast pull to within 5-4 with 3:34 left before the break. And it stayed that way for a while.

Another Harrisburg defender, Chris Morman (one save), relieved Tanzini in the Heat's cage immediately following Bowers' three-pointer and was spotless until Petras returned early in the third quarter.

Harrisburg stretched its lead to three midway through the third period when Nick Corneli scored from the left wing after shots by Matt Knowles and Tanzini were turned aside.

The Blast, however, answered with 5:41 gone in the fourth when Cabral rolled in a shot from a crowd in front after Lee Tschantret sent the ball off the low right boards.

Harrisburg picked up all it needed nearly five minutes later, Marcotrigiano one-timing Meshach Wade's pass off the left boards past Blast keeper Scott Hileman (4-5, 9 saves).

NOTE: The Blast played without defender Lance Johnson (groin) and midfielder J.J. Kremer (knee). Kremer was inactive for the third game in a row.

Blast 0 4 0 4 - 8

Harrisburg 3 2 2 2 - 9

First quarter: 1. Harrisburg, Wade 3 pt. (Marcotrigiano), 14:33. Second quarter: 2. Harrisburg, Bascome 2 pt. (Kvello), 9:32; 3. Blast, Cabral 1 pt., 11:25; 4. Blast, Bowers 3 pt., 11:26. Penalties: Harrisburg, Petras (misconduct), 1:32; Blast, Dieter (taunting), :45; Harrisburg, Regis (taunting), :45. Third quarter: 5. Harrisburg, Corneli 2 pt. (Knowles), 7:22. Fourth quarter: 6. Blast, Cabral 2 pt. (Tschantret), 5:41; 7. Harrisburg, Marcotrigiano 2 pt. (Wade), 10:11; 8. Blast, Celenza 2 pt. (Tschantret), 13:22. Shots on goal: Blast 5-7-8-11 - 31; Harrisburg 6-7-5-3 - 21 Power-play opportunities: Blast 0-1. Harrisburg 0-0. Shootout opportunities: Blast 1-1. Harrisburg 0-0. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman 3-3-2-1-9; Wright 0-0-0-0-0; Harrisburg, Ceccarelli 1-0-0-0-1; Petras 0-3-6-2-11; Tanzini 0-0-0-0-0; Morman 0-1-0-0-1. A: 3,705.

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