Blast caught napping in 13-8 loss to Wave

Weary Milwaukee hands team second defeat in row


February 24, 2003|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - There may never have been a better opportunity for the Blast to catch the Major Indoor Soccer League-leading Milwaukee Wave on an off-day.

Coming off a loss Saturday night in Kansas City, the Wave had a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call and flew back to Milwaukee yesterday morning, just in time for the 1:05 p.m. start. Meanwhile, the Blast came in well-rested having arrived in town a day in advance.

But none of that mattered.

Dewan Bader, Tarik Walker, Danny Kelly and P.J. Wakefield scored goals, and Sean Bowers had two assists, but the Blast missed numerous chances and lost, 13-8, before 6,206 at the Bradley Center.

Denison Cabral and Lance Johnson also added assists for the Blast, which lost its second straight and fell to 12-17.

"We're used to flying in here early on Sunday mornings and today the tables were turned," Bader said. "Overall, we did play well, so I definitely think this was a missed opportunity. We just made five bad mistakes, and they all resulted in goals."

Todd Dusosky had a two-point goal, an empty-net three-point goal and an assist to lead the Wave, which improved to 24-6. The Blast, which lost to Milwaukee for the fourth time in five meetings this season, had led 4-0 and 6-4.

"We just don't have the killer instinct and it's a shame," Blast coach Bobby McAvan said. "We did not believe that we could win this."

"We didn't execute," he added. "You can't take anything away from this. We're giving Harrisburg life by not putting teams away. Nobody's helping us. Mental errors at inappropriate times of the game, and just the inability to finish the chances we created was inexcusable."

Milwaukee came out sluggishly and did not take its first lead until 12 minutes remained in regulation. Baltimore scored the only goal of the first quarter when Bader finished a perfect pass from Bowers on a free kick, and then took a 4-0 lead on another nice combination from Johnson to Walker.

The Wave tied the game at 4-4 with 45 seconds remaining in the first half on a volley by Brian Loftin after his initial shot was blocked in front of the goal. Baltimore regained the lead at 6-4 with 47.3 seconds to play in the third quarter on Kelly's goal. But the Wave countered just 16 seconds later when Michael King placed a header into the net after taking a long pass from Wave goalkeeper Victor Nogueira.

The Wave took its first lead three minutes into the fourth quarter on a one-touch, left-footed shot from Joe Reiniger to make it 8-6. The Blast tied the game at 8 with 5:29 remaining on a Bowers-to-Wakefield connection off another restart.

But Milwaukee regained the lead for good just 21 seconds later on another left-footed shot, this time by Troy Dusosky.

"It's unacceptable," McAvan said. "You score a goal and then you keep pushing. You've done your hard work, you take them out of their rhythm, and we get one of our own, and we can't convert. What does it matter if you keep it close? It could be 100-8, it doesn't matter. We come out of here with nothing."

Blast 2 2 2 2 - 8

Milwaukee 0 4 2 7 - 13

First quarter: 1. Blast, Bader, 2 pt., (Bowers), 7:52. Second quarter: 2. Blast, Walker, 2 pt., (Cabral), 5:01; 3. Milwaukee, To.Dusosky, 2 pt., (Schmidt), 8:36; 4. Milwaukee, Loftin, 2 pt., 12:15. Third quarter: 5. Blast, Kelly, 2 pt., (Johnson), 14:13; 6. Milwaukee, King, 2 pt., (Nogueira), 14:29. Penalties: Blast, Nelson, (tripping) 6:00. Fourth quarter: 7. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 2 pt., (To. Dusosky), 3:00; 8. Blast, Wakefield, 2 pt., (Bowers), 9:31; 9. Milwaukee, Tr. Dusosky, 2 pt.,(Howes), 9:52; 10. Milwaukee, To. Dusosky, 3 pt., (Reiniger). Shots on goal: Blast 10-9-7-11 37; Milwaukee 8-7-10-10 35. Power-play opportunities: Blast 0-for-0; Milwaukee 0-for-1. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman, 17 shots, 12 saves; Milwaukee, Nogueira, 23 shots, 19 saves. A- 6,206.

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