Fatigued Blast hits another road bump

Wave dominates, 14-5, with `relentless' pressure

Soccer

January 06, 2003|By Joe DiGiovanni | Joe DiGiovanni,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - A short turnaround led to a long day for the Blast.

Traveling after a Saturday night home game, the Blast was dominated yesterday as Pat White scored five points in the Milwaukee Wave's 14-5 victory in front of 5,719 at the Bradley Center.

"We were a little lethargic," Blast coach Bobby McAvan said. "The fatigue factor started creeping in, and Milwaukee was just a much sharper team than we were."

The Blast (6-13) fell behind 10-0 before Danny Kelly scored a two-point goal midway through the third quarter. The Blast was outshot 21-5 in the second and third quarters and had trouble keeping possession of the ball against one of the league's better teams.

"Not a whole lot of positive things to take away from here," McAvan said. "[Milwaukee goalie] Victor [Nogueira] had a pretty easy day. We were caught chasing too much.

"They controlled the tempo of the game. The pressure was relentless. We gave up some bad goals and never created much ourselves. They maintained possession, and it comes from good pressure."

The Blast has lost five consecutive road games, is 2-8 on the road and is in last place in the four-team Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Conference.

The Wave (13-5) was coming off a 10-8 loss at San Diego on Thursday.

"They were extra hungry and it showed," McAvan said. "They had players working extra hard, and it seemed like we were always a half-step behind."

Milwaukee opened the scoring when Joe Reiniger's pass to forward Todd Dusosky just got past Kelly. Dusosky hit a streaking Marcelo Fontana down the middle, who fired it past Blast goalie Brett Phillips for a 2-0 Wave lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter.

Milwaukee scored two goals in the second quarter to lead 7-0 at halftime. Leighton O'Brien scored on an open three-pointer with 11:22 left in the quarter, and Reiniger beat Blast defender Wendell Regis to score into the right corner of the goal with 7:46 left in the first half.

The Wave put the game away 20 seconds into the third quarter. White, in a four-on-four situation, took an inbounds pass, raced down the right sideline and fired a three-pointer for a 10-0 lead. After Kelly's goal for the Blast, his third of the season, White scored his second goal of the game for a 12-2 lead.

Brian Loftin added a late two-pointer for Milwaukee, and the Blast's Lee Tschantret scored a three-pointer with six seconds left for the final score.

With 10:03 left in the game, the Blast's Lance Johnson was ejected for elbowing Brian Loftin in the face.

Baltimore is off until Friday night, when it returns home to face the Dallas Sidekicks. At 6-15, Dallas is the only team in the MISL with a worse record than the Blast.

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