PHILADELPHIA - A forward who recently signed a 15-day contact and was playing his second game of the season became the latest to add to the Blast's misery.
Joe Scigliano scored two two-point goals and added an assist as the Philadelphia KiXX defeated the Blast, 14-8, in a Major Indoor Soccer League game last night.
It was the second straight loss and third in four games for the 5-7 Blast. The KiXX (8-3) maintained their hold on first place in the six-team league and have won all three meetings with the Blast.
Both teams are battling injuries. Jason Dieter and J.J. Kremer of the Blast missed their eighth and fourth games, respectively, with knee injuries.
Defender Lance Johnson sat out his second game with a groin injury. Defender Billy Nelson, who scored the Blast's lone goal in Friday's 12-2 loss to Milwaukee, missed last night's game to attend his mother's wedding.
In addition, defender Dewan Bader injured a hamstring in the first half and didn't return.
Then again, Philadelphia wasn't exactly playing at full strength. The KiXX were without last year's leading scorer, Don D'Ambra, who missed his fifth game with a hamstring injury.
Philadelphia also played without this year's leading scorer, Kevin Sloan, who missed his fourth game with a hamstring injury. Midfielder Cesidio Colasante is out for the year with a knee injury.
The league's new salary cap has put a crunch on franchises and the lack of depth on both teams was apparent."We've had so many injuries and we're also having trouble making that extra pass and shot," Blast coach Kevin Healey said. "It's hard to play with this many injuries, but when you're in a slump, you have to fight your way out."
Blast midfielder Denison Cabral set up the game's first goal, dribbling down the right side and passing to Lee Tschantret, who drew a defender and then fed a wide-open Craig Scheer.
Playing in only his second game after signing a contract on Nov. 15, Scheer tapped the ball into an open net at 5 minutes, 26 seconds into the first period.
Moments later, Baltimore's Danny Santoro's rebound from close range was saved by KiXX goalie Peter Pappas.
The KiXX tied the score when Pat Morris, who was unmarked in front of the goal, headed in a cross from Jim Hesch at 12:27 of the first quarter.
The KiXX had a 6-2 lead at halftime, taking advantage of two Blast defensive lapses in the second quarter. Les Lunsford slipped past the defense and converted a feed from Shawn Boney for his first goal of the season.
At the 13:07 mark, Joel Shanker walked through the defense and fired a shot that Blast goaltender Scott Hileman had no chance of saving.
The score could have been worse, but Hileman rebuffed Shanker from point-blank range early in the second period.