Blast's road win nets playoff spot

Cabral-led offensive push in final quarter defeats Kansas City, Quinn, 16-11

Soccer

March 16, 2003|By James Arnold | James Arnold,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the Blast to earn a spot in the Major Indoor Soccer League playoffs, it was going to have to win a game on the road.

The good news was that Baltimore had four games in which to do so, and it could still make the playoffs if the Harrisburg Heat lost. The bad news was the Blast had a 4-10 record away from 1st Mariner Arena this season.

The Blast threw that poor record out last night, defeating the Kansas City Comets, 16-11, with a fourth-quarter scoring outburst that also avenged a 17-6 road loss in late February.

"That is playoff mentality," said Denison Cabral, who had his second hat trick of the season. "After this game, we made it. Definitely there is relief."

The Blast held an 8-7 lead entering the final quarter but put on an offensive show against Kansas City's backup goalkeeper, Blair Quinn. Cabral scored two of his four goals in the final quarter. P.J. Wakefield and Tarik Walker also tallied two-point goals in the period.

Kansas City pulled Quinn with 3:47 remaining and the Blast leading 16-9 but could muster just a two-point goal from Nino DaSilva against Baltimore's aggressive defense.

Baltimore controlled the ball for much of the first quarter but had difficulty breaking through Quinn, who was playing in just his fifth game of the season because starter Paolo Ceccarelli, was out with a neck injury. Ceccarelli is second in the MISL in minutes played in net.

Kansas City star Dino Delevski ran loose with 9:02 remaining in the quarter when defender Jeff Davis found him deep in the Baltimore zone. The league's leading scorer sent it through for a 2-0 Kansas City lead.

Blast keeper Scott Hileman's aggressive play worked against him two minutes later. After leaving the net to make a play, the goal was left unattended for Nate Hauser's two-point shot, giving Kansas City a 4-0 lead.

Blast All-Star Sean Bowers made it 4-2 on a restart goal to the right corner with 6:21 left in the quarter. Fellow all-star Cabral tied it on a shootout goal with 24 seconds to go, a perfect lob over the oncoming Quinn.

Kansas City took over in the second quarter - taking 10 shots on goal - but the Blast's more conservative defense thwarted each Kansas City push. A couple of late Blast opportunities were sent away by Quinn, keeping it tied at 4.

Defense took a back seat in the opening minutes of the third period. The Blast took a 6-4 lead just 15 seconds into the second half when Walker's shot was knocked away, but Cabral followed with his second lobbing goal of the game.

Two minutes later, Alex Zotinca knocked in a three-point goal from just left of the top of the arc to put Kansas City up 7-6.

Baltimore came back to take an 8-7 lead when Walker scored on a feed into the heart of the Kansas City penalty area by Wendell Regis. That set up the Blast's fourth-quarter burst.

Blast 4 0 4 8 - 16

Kansas City 4 0 3 4 - 11

First quarter: 1. Comets, Delevski, 2 pt., (Davis), 5:58; 2. Comets, Hauser, 2 pt., (unassisted), 8:39. 1. Blast, Bowers, 2 pt., (unassisted), 12:02. 2. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt. shootout, (unassisted). Penalties: Blast, Kelly, (misconduct), 5:16. Comets, DaSilva, (misconduct), 5:16. Comets, Sedgewick, (pushing), 14:36.

Third quarter: 3. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt., (Walker), :14. 3. Comets, Zotinca, 3 pt., (Wade), 2:11. 4. Blast, Walker, 2 pt., (Regis), 3:40.

Fourth quarter: 5. Blast, Walker, 2 pts., (Swords), 1:41. 6. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt., (unassisted), 5:45. 4. Comets, Houser, 2 pt., (Dancy), 6:15. 7. Blast, Wakefield, 2 pts., (Walker), 7:10. 8. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt. shootout, (unassisted), 7:53. 5. Comets, DaSilva, 2 pt., (Davis), 12:36. Penalties: Comets, Quinn, (handball), 7:49. Blast, Tsvhantret, (misconduct), 14:22.

Shots on goal: Blast 13-5-6-6 - 30; Kansas City 5-10-5-13 - 33. Power-play opportunities: Blast 0-for-0; Kansas City 0-for-0. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman, 22 shots, 17 saves; Kansas City, Quinn, 15 shots, 11 saves. Wade, 1 shot, 0 saves. A: 6,342.

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