Blast starts out strong, but fades vs. Comets

21-12 loss cuts lead in race for playoff spot to 2 games

Soccer

March 18, 2002|By Sam Mellinger | Sam Mellinger,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kevin Healey knows this doesn't look good.

But he also wants to make sure everybody knows the Blast's struggles aren't because of a lack of effort. The latest loss came yesterday, when his team led early, but eventually fell to the Kansas City Comets, 21-12.

Baltimore has now lost seven of its last eight games, and is suddenly in a tight race with Cleveland for the MISL's fourth and final playoff spot.

As a result of Cleveland's 20-12 win over Harrisburg yesterday, the Blast (14-20) leads the Crunch by two games.

"I think it's important for the people back in Baltimore to know that we're working hard," said Healey, the Blast's coach. "I'm proud of our guys. I thought we played really hard."

Yesterday's loss was certainly more encouraging than the 20-6 drubbing the Blast received in its previous game, in Cleveland.

Baltimore controlled play throughout the first quarter with long possessions and consistent scoring chances. The team managed 11 shots on goal, making two.

Meanwhile, the few good opportunities the Comets had were gobbled up by Blast goalkeeper Karim Mounban.

Goals by Lance Johnson and Denison Cabral gave the Blast a 4-0 lead after the first quarter, but Healey felt like his team should have been up by more.

"I felt like we absolutely dominated at the beginning," Healey said. "We had the ball a lot longer than they did. We missed a lot of our opportunities, though."

After the first quarter, the Blast didn't have many more chances and the Comets had plenty. Kansas City tied a season high for points in a quarter with 11 during the second period.

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