Blast's miseries continue in 19-13 defeat

Healey's team presses Wave, but Reiniger goal seals sixth straight loss


March 03, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Blast defender Sean Bowers did all he could to help the cause with a career-best three three-pointers last night.

But it was another three-point cannon, this one off the left foot of Milwaukee Wave forward Joe Reiniger, that proved the difference.

The Blast played on even terms with the first-place Wave for three-plus quarters, but fired blanks in the fourth quarter to fall for the sixth straight time, 19-13, before 6,983 at Baltimore Arena.

Reiniger's decider, a restart goal from the left side, came with 10:18 left, giving the Wave (24-7) a 16-13 lead that remained until Michael King put the game away with another three-pointer late, with an extra attacker on for the Blast.

It was a good-try effort with no reward. The Blast, now 13-18 and in fourth place in the Major Indoor Soccer League, will give it another go tonight at last-place Harrisburg.

"I think the effort was there the whole game. We played extremely hard," said Blast coach Kevin Healey. "If we have that kind of performance the rest of the year we're going to win a lot of games."

"We were playing against a team that's very good. They had a great three-point shot at the end and that puts you behind the eight-ball because you're basically two goals down at that point. But we played hard. Nobody can talk about the effort of the Baltimore Blast tonight, and the execution was there, too."

Trailing 13-8 midway through the third quarter, Bowers hit the last of his three-pointers to close the margin to 13-11, and then Paul Wright hit his 100th career two-pointer with the Blast to get the game even with 3:09 left.

But that was all the offense the Blast could come up with and, after the home team killed off a Wave penalty early in the fourth quarter, Reiniger hit what proved to be the game-winner.

"I think everybody is looking for answers, to be honest with you," said Bowers. "I don't think it was a lack of effort tonight. Sometimes it is, but not tonight.

"It was 13-all with eight minutes left and we gave up a three-pointer and there was no one to blame. It's just all of us. If we can each do a little more, we do need to work harder to get out of this."

Two three-point goals from Bowers helped stake the Blast to an 8-4 lead midway through the second quarter, but it wouldn't last through the half.

The Wave came back with goals by Alen Osmanovic and Marcelo Fontana to tie the score at 8 and then came out fast in the third quarter -- Troy Dusosky's three-pointer capping nine unanswered points to take a 13-8 lead.

"It's real tough, but tonight was not as tough as [the loss to Philadelphia on Friday] to be honest with you," said Healey. "I hate to lose, but you saw a great effort; two good teams playing indoor soccer tonight and we didn't get the win.

"Now, I've said all along, we have to battle our way out of this slump. If we get a win or two, we'll win these kind of games."

Healey added that backup goalkeeper Karim Mounban will get his first start for the Blast tonight against the Heat, giving Scott Hileman his first rest of the season.

"The game plan there is we want Scott fresh for the playoffs and we want to be smart," said Healey.

Milwaukee 2 6 5 6 -- 19

Blast 3 5 5 0 -- 13

First quarter --1. Blast, Bowers, 3 pt., 8:55; 2. Milwaukee, Loftin, 2 pt., (Schmidt), 13:11. Penalties --Milwaukee, Tr. Dusosky, (tripping), 11:09. Second quarter -- 3. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 2 pt., (Carbonara), 1:44; 4. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt., (Wright), 3:47; 5. Blast, Bowers, 3 pt., 9:27; 6. Milwaukee, Osmanovic, 2 pt., (Howes), 11:16; 6. Milwaukee, Fontana, 2 pt., (Gilpatrick), 12:19. Penalties -- none. Third quarter -- 7. Milwaukee, Dugas, 2 pt. (Carbonara), 1:34; 8. Milwaukee, Tr. Dusosky, 3 pt, (Howes), 4:07; Blast, 9. Bowers, 3 pt., (Nelson), 7:25; 10. Blast, Wright, 2 pt., (Nelson), 11: 51. Penalties --Blast, Johnson, (tripping), 14:58. Fourth quarter -- 11. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 3 pt., 4:42; 12. Milwaukee, King, 3 pt., 13:08. Penalties -- none. Shots on goal -- Milwaukee 7-9-16-9--41 ; Blast 10-10-9-9 --38. Power-play opportunities -- Milwaukee 0-for-1; Blast 0-for-1. Goalkeepers -- Milwaukee, Green, 16 shots, 11 saves; Blast, Hileman, 25 shots, 18 saves; Wright, 1 shot, 0 saves. A -- 6,983.

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