Ceccarelli, Comets stifle Blast in 17-12 win

K.C. keeper, misfires frustrate Healey's team

Soccer

October 26, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Kansas City Comets goalkeeper Paolo Ceccarelli was sporting an orange jersey last night, but it may just as well have been stop-sign red.

Basically, he left the Blast's formidable attack flustered and frustrated.

The eight-year veteran turned aside 34 shots, with a number of others going off the posts, wide left, right or over the top.

In all, the Blast had 51 shots and only six goals. Not nearly enough against a Comets team that was in dire need of its first win of the season, finding it by a 17-12 count before 5,210 at First Mariner Arena.

"We have to come ready to finish our chances because the other team did. We had too many opportunities. We just have to concentrate a little better on those chances," said Blast midfielder Denison Cabral.

The Blast, which has lost two straight home games, fell under the .500 mark at 2-3 with Harrisburg coming in tonight.

Blast coach Kevin Healey said finishing was a priority all week in practice, with success he added, but you couldn't tell last night.

"I give congrats to Paolo. He played a great game and we hit the pole a bunch of times, but you can't keep talking about that. You've just got to put the ball in the net," he said.

"As a player, you have to be positive that you can make the play - picking up your head, finding your spot and getting it there. We didn't do that."

It looked easy enough 15 seconds into the fourth quarter when Danny Kelly took a pass off the boards from Lee Tschantret and put one away in front to cut the Comets' lead to 10-8. But the visitors responded with a three-point goal from Dino Delevski and a two-pointer from Jacob Dancy for a 15-8 lead with 4:42 left.

The Blast got goals from Paul Wright and Cabral with an extra attacker on before Kansas City's Nate Houser provided the final offense with his third goal of the game.

Now, the Blast must come back tonight against a well-rested Heat team that hasn't played in two weeks. Cabral feels that's the best thing.

"Hopefully, all those goals we missed out on will show up [tonight]," he said.

The entire Blast offense in the first half came from one source - rookie forward P.J. Wakefield, who scored a two-point goal in each quarter as the home team trailed 6-4 at intermission.

The Blast had 22 shots, so the chances were there, but so was Ceccarelli. The veteran keeper, who had 17 saves in the first 30 minutes, turned aside open shots from Cabral, Gino DiFlorio and Sean Bowers in the first quarter and then by Tarik Walker, Bowers, Wright and Cabral again in the second quarter.

Keeper Scott Hileman had another strong effort in a losing cause, turning back 17 shots.

Kansas City 4 2 4 7 - 17

Blast 2 2 2 6 - 12

First quarter -K.C., Delevski, 2 pt., (DaSilva), 2:49; 2. K.C., DaSilva, 2 pt., (Houser), 5:23; 3. Blast, Wakefield, 2 pt., 7:36. Penalties - none. Second quarter - 4. Blast, Wakefield, 2 pt., 2:08; 5. K.C. , DaSilva, 2 pt., (Zotinca), pp., 8:26. Penalties - Blast, Nelson, (tripping), 7:30. Third quarter - 6. Blast, Wright, 2 pt., 2:17; 7. K.C., Houser, 2 pt., 6:19; 8. Kansas City, Houser, 2 pt., 12:37. Penalties - none. Fourth quarter - 9. Blast, Kelly, 2 pt., (Tschantret), :15; 10. K.C., Delevski, (DaSilva), 3:46; 11. K.C., Dancy, 2 pt., (Djerisilo), 10:18; 12. Blast, Wright, 2 pt., (Cabral), 12:18; 13. Blast, Cabrall, 2 pt., (Tschantret), 14:34; 14. K.C., Houser, 2 pt., (Wade), 14:46. Penalties - K.C., Barton, (tripping), 1:01. Shots on goal - K.C. 6-12-6-7 - 31; Blast 12-10-10-19 - 51. Power-play opportunities - K.C. 1-for-1; Blast 0-for-1. Shootout opportunities - K.C. 0-for-0; Blast 0-for-1. Goalkeepers - K.C., Ceccarelli, 40 shots, 34 saves; Blast, Hileman, 25 shots, 17 saves, Bowers, 3 shots, 2 saves. A - 5,210.

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