Blast relocates lost attack, streaks past Sockers, 17-8

Baltimore's 11 straight silence San Diego

Cabral leads break with 5 points

Soccer

March 22, 2003|By Bryan Rodgers | Bryan Rodgers,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SAN DIEGO - A scoring drought was replaced with a deluge of goals, and as a result, the Blast's bid to host a playoff match next week is still alive.

The Blast gave up last night's first goal in the first quarter but then scored 11 consecutive points en route to a 17-8 victory over the San Diego Sockers in front of 5,167 at the San Diego Sports Arena.

"We're coming into a building that hasn't been kind to us," said Blast coach Bobby McAvan. "So after San Diego got that early goal, I was concerned. ...

"I was thrilled with what I consider to be a great all around effort. ... It was nice to see the offense come around."

Tarik Walker, fed by Denison Cabral, got the Blast rolling 6:55 into the second quarter. His goal proved to be merely the 17-18 Blast awakening after scoring a season-low two points - off a penalty kick - in a 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Crunch on Monday.

Actually, the Blast created few second-period chances, putting only three shots on goal. But two of them scored, Walker's and with 4:02 to go till halftime, Danny Kelly's off a rebound from a shot by Lee Tschantret.

Baltimore's good fortune continued 2:36 into the third quarter, when Sean Bowers added an unassisted two-point goal. At 7:04, Cabral hit an improbable three-pointer from deep in the right corner, and 49 seconds later, Craig Scheer punctuated the Blast run from point-blank range, making the score 11-2.

San Diego (14-21) broke the Blast's streak at 13:03, when defender Kevin Sakuda slipped a shot through the legs of Blast keeper Scott Hileman, and the ball trickled across the goal line.

The Blast still could catch Cleveland in the Eastern Conference standings. If the Blast wins its final game tomorrow against Dallas and Cleveland loses its final two games, the Blast would play host to the Force in playoff match next week.

"With us winning, the pressure is on them," said Hileman. "If we beat Dallas on Sunday, we've done what wanted to."

Blast 0 4 11 2 - 17

San Diego 2 0 2 4 - 8

First quarter 1. San Diego, Robbie Aristodemo 2pts. (Mariano Bollella), :26. Second quarter 2. Blast, Tarik Walker 2pts. (Denison Cabral) 6:55; 3. Blast, Danny Kelly 2pts. (Lee Tschantret) 10:58. Third quarter 4. Blast, Sean Bowers 2pts., 2:36; 5. Blast, Cabral 3 pts. (Bowers), 7:04; 6. Blast, Craig Scheer 2pts. (Rich Daughtridge), 7:53; 7. San Diego, Kevin Sakuda 2pts., 13:03; 8. Blast, Allen Eller 2 pts. (Bowers), 13:37; 9. Blast, Cabral 2pts. (P.J. Wakefield), 14:49. Fourth quarter 10. San Diego, Zach Scott 2pts. (Chris Garcia), 9:13; 11. Blast, Wakefield 2pts. (Bowers), 10:53; 12. San Diego, Chris Garcia Fimbres 2pts. (Bollella), 13:28. Power-play goals: Blast 0-2, San Diego 0-3. Shots on goal: Blast 10-3-7-323. San Diego 5-3-8-1026. Saves: Blast Hilerman 1-3-5-413. San Diego, Horvath 7-1-2-111, Stewart 0-0-0-00. A: 5,167.

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