Wave makes history at Blast's expense

Milwaukee wins, 14-7, becoming 1st team to go unbeaten at home: 22-0


April 13, 2002|By Charles F. Gardner | Charles F. Gardner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - All the Blast could do was play the part of unwilling participant as the Milwaukee Wave reached two milestones last night.

Presented with the dual challenge of completing an unbeaten home season and delivering the 500th career victory for coach Keith Tozer, the Wave responded with a 14-7 victory over the Blast before a Bradley Center crowd of 10,070.

Heck, the T-shirts were already printed, with block letters reading "Undefeated" on the back.

And the Wave players gladly put them on after becoming the first franchise in 24 years of indoor soccer to go unbeaten at home with a 22-0 record and getting Tozer No. 500.

It was only fitting that the Wave's two most enduring all-stars, goalkeeper Victor Nogueira and forward Michael King, played big roles in the historic win. Nogueira made 13 saves as he won for the 21st time at home this season, and King contributed a two-point goal and two assists.

"It's a humbling experience, quite honestly," Tozer said. "We didn't search for this goal, we didn't talk about this goal [being unbeaten at home], but this is a goal that can't be beaten. Teams can only tie it."

Blast coach Kevin Healey sought out Tozer in the Wave locker room to congratulate him, and the 45-year-old Wave coach admitted it had been an emotional night. It started with a video tribute on the Bradley Center scoreboard, while Tozer watched with his wife, Ranee, and three children at his side.

"My 4-year-old [Mackenzie] wouldn't listen to me out there," Tozer said. "She kept running up and down the field. It was almost like time would stand still. I was thinking about when Ron [Creten] and Jim [Peters] first brought me here, and about all the players.

"I'm really proud to be the coach of this team."

Tozer and the Wave players were fully aware that nothing in the game would carry over to the Major Indoor Soccer League semifinal playoff game against the Blast scheduled for one week later.

The Wave will have Brian Loftin and Joe Reiniger back in the lineup, while Danny Kelly and Paul Wright will return for Baltimore.

Blast 0 3 2 2 - 7

Milwaukee 6 2 4 2 - 14

First quarter: 1. Milwaukee, Howes (King), restart goal, 7:51. 2. Milwaukee, Torres (King), 7:10. 3. Milwaukee, Todd Dusosky (Ackah), 14:42. Second quarter: 4. Milwaukee, Ackah, 5:01. 5. Blast, Fraser (Tschantret), 10:02. 6. Blast, Cabral, sog, 13:06. Penalties: Bench, Milwaukee (too many men), 13:06. Third quarter: 7. Blast, Bowers, restart goal, 6:21. 8. Milwaukee, White, 10:49. 9. Milwaukee, King (Howes), 11:54. Fourth quarter: 10. Milwaukee, Dugas (Todd Dusosky), 5:16. 11. Blast, Kremer (Tschantret), 6:35. Shots - Blast 29, Milwaukee 33. Saves - Blast 12 (Hileman 12, Bowers 0), Milwaukee 13 (Nogueira 13). Blocks - Blast 14 (Bowers 4), Milwaukee 12 (Carbonara 5). Penalties - Blast 10, Milwaukee 15. Shootout goals - Blast 1 of 1 (Cabral). A - 10,070.

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