Wave gives Blast bump at end, 16-11

2-time champs wipe out deficit with 5 minutes left


February 02, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

One minute, it appeared the Blast had slain the dragon called the Milwaukee Wave - at least for one night.

The next, the Blast became just another in a long line of second-class citizens in the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Last night at Baltimore Arena, the Wave showed why it's comfortably in first place and how it has rattled off seven straight wins and appears headed for its third straight championship.

After Blast rookie Billy Nelson scored to put the home team ahead with five minutes left, the Wave called time to collect itself and then promptly scored, scored again and added one last dagger to complete a textbook, 16-11 road win before 3,122.

The Blast fell to 11-12 for the season, dropping back into a tie for third place with idle Kansas City, eight games back of the Wave, which is 20-5 for the season and a league-best 10-5 on the road.

"They're playing very confidently right now," said Blast coach Kevin Healey. "They're a two-time champion, they have the best record they've ever had and right now they're just full of confidence,

"I thought we matched their energy. I thought we were tough, thought we scored some good goals. But sometimes you feel like you should have done this, should have done that and sure we could have done some things differently.

"But tonight was just a very good soccer game between two very good teams and we just didn't win."

The Wave controlled play most of the way - owning a 42-30 advantage in shots - but was unable to pull away as Blast keeper Scott Hileman came up with 21 saves.

Trailing 10-7 going into the fourth quarter, the Blast got a goal from Danny Santoro to pull within 10-9 with 7:46 left and then found some magic moments later.

Santoro fought and won a ball deep in his team's defensive third and sent an outlet pass at midfield to Lee Tschantret, who flicked it to Nelson. After two dribbles and a quick look to see where Waves keeper Dan Green was, Nelson sent a right-footed shot just over the drawn-out keeper for the short-lived, 11-10 lead.

The Wave answered 20 seconds later when Marcelo Fontana finished off a feed from Sipho Sibiya for the game-winner. Michael King scored the last two Milwaukee goals.

"It's disappointing," said Santoro. "Billy had a great goal - composed - then they call timeout, come out and walk through for an easy goal."

The majority of the Blast's first-half offense came in a one-minute stretch early in the second quarter.

Down 4-2, Giuliano Celenza found time and space to turn in front to beat Wave backup keeper Dan Green and tie the game with 12:30 left, and then, one minute later, Paul Wright finished off a run from midfield with a three-pointer from the right side for a 7-4 lead.

Milwaukee 4 4 2 6 - 16

Blast 2 5 0 4 - 11

First quarter - 1. Milwaukee, To. Dusosky, 2 pt., (Dugas), 6:17; 2. Blast, Walker, 2 pt., (Santoro), 6:25; 3. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 2 pt., (Loftin), 12:21. Second quarter - 4. Blast, Celenza, 2 pt, (Tschantret), 2:30; 5. Blast, Wright, 3 pt., (Cabral), 3:30; 6. Milwaukee, Loftin, 2 pt., (Carbonara), 7:16; 7. Milwaukee, Howes, 2 pt., (Sibiya), 7:39. Third quarter - 8. Milwaukee, To. Dusosky, 2 pt., (Osmanovic), 6:24. Fourth quarter - 9. Blast, Santoro, 2 pt., (Neely), 7:14; 10. Blast, Nelson, 2 pt., (Tschantret), 9:56; 11. Milwaukee, Fontana, 2 pt., (Sibiya), 10:16; 12. Milwaukee, King, 2 pt., (Reiniger), 10:55; 13. Milwaukee, King, 2 pt., (To. Dusosky), 14:04. Shots on goal - Milwaukee 17-7-9-9 - 42; Blast 7-10-6-7 - 30. Shootout Opportunities - Milwaukee 0-for-0; Blast 0-for-0. Power Play opportunities -Milwaukee 0-for-0; Blast 0-for-0. Goalkeepers - Milwaukee, Green, 15 shots, 10 saves; Blast, Hileman, 28 shots, 21 saves, Wright, 1 shot, 0 saves. A - 3,122

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