Wave closes strong to subdue rallying Blast in opener, 19-12

Visitor sees calls, bounces go wrong way, needs win tonight to extend finals

Indoor Soccer

April 13, 2003|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - The Blast rallied to tie, but the Milwaukee Wave scored the final seven points with the help of two own goals and what Blast coach Bobby McAvan called "controversial incidents" to prevail, 19-12, in Game 1 of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship series yesterday before 6,029 at the Bradley Center.

The Wave can clinch its third league title in the past four years with a win in Game 2 of the best-of-three series tonight at 6:05 at 1st Mariner Arena.

There was an overall tone of discontent from several Blast players and McAvan about the officiating, especially after Tarik Walker had a goal waved off midway through the fourth quarter of the loss, which ended the Blast's improbable run of road playoff victories.

With the Blast trailing 16-12, Walker and Milwaukee defender Lovelace Ackah got tangled in the Wave penalty box. Moments after the whistle blew, Walker fired the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed because he had been called for a foul.

"He said that I elbowed Ackah, which is ridiculous," Walker said, referring to the referee. "I have no need to elbow anybody when I'm going in on goal. I have the advantage already. It's just unfortunate that a call here and there can change the tide of a game."

Earlier, the Blast took issue with a five-minute misconduct penalty for dissent called on Lee Tschantret. With 3:44 remaining in the first half, Troy Dusosky scored to give Milwaukee a 10-4 lead when his shot barely trickled over the goal line before Tschantret could knock it away. Tschantret initially believed the ball had not crossed and argued, resulting in the penalty.

"After the replay it looked like it was a good call, but I don't think you give someone five minutes there," Tschantret said. "I think that's where you have professionalism as a referee and just turn away. I wasn't cursing him or his mother. I was upset, and I was letting him know I was upset. This is a man's sport. This is not the Girl Scouts. This is not under-10s. This is a professional finals."

Tschantret, Denison Cabral and Jason Dieter each had a goal and an assist; Walker, Lance Johnson and P.J. Wakefield scored single goals; and Allen Eller and Billy Nelson added assists for the Blast.

For the Wave, Troy Dusosky had two goals and an assist, Todd Dusosky added four assists and Joe Reiniger recorded a goal and two assists.

Aside from the officiating, the Blast also dealt with several difficult bounces. Fifty seconds after Tschantret had given Baltimore a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter, Milwaukee forward Sipho Sibiya took a shot that ricocheted off the boards, hit Blast defender Sean Bowers in the back and went in.

With 12:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman saved a shot by Milwaukee midfielder Carl Schmitt, only to have the ball hit Blast midfielder Craig Scheer and go in.

"Obviously we didn't get the bounces when we needed them," McAvan said.

The Blast now must win two straight, starting tonight when it plays its first home game since March 1. The Blast finished 5-2 on a stretch of seven straight road games, including two playoff wins, and should the Blast prevail tonight, it would force a decisive Game 3 Friday night in Milwaukee.

"We're going to be happy to be going back home and get some support," Dieter said. "It's a three-game series. It was their home game. They did what they needed to do. Now we need to go do what we need to do. We have confidence in ourselves that we're going to be back here next week."

Blast 2 4 6 0 - 12

Milwaukee 2 8 4 5 - 19

First quarter: 1. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt., 6:12; 2. Milwaukee, Reiniger, 2 pt. (Todd Dusosky), 10:54. Penalties: Blast, Cabral (tripping), 3:59.

Second quarter: 3. Blast, Tschantret, 2 pt. (Eller), 4:25; 4. Milwaukee, Sibiya, 2 pt., 5:13; 5. Milwaukee, Dugas, 2 pt. (Reiniger), 6:42; 6. Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky, 2 pt. (Todd Dusosky), 8:14; 7. Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky, 2 pt. (Todd Dusosky), 11:16; 8. Blast, Dieter, 2 pt. (Nelson), 11:32. Penalties: Blast, Tschantret (dissent), 11:16.

Third quarter: 9. Blast, Walker, 2 pt. (Cabral), 4.06; 10. Blast, Johnson, 2 pt. (Dieter), 6:46; 11. Milwaukee, Howes, 2 pt. (King), 7:01; 12. Blast, Wakefield, 2 pt. (Tschantret), 12:55; 13. Milwaukee, Loftin, 2 pt. (Reiniger), 14:47. Penalties: Blast, Bench (too many men), 7:28.

Fourth quarter: 14. Milwaukee, Schmitt, 2 pt. (Todd Dusosky), 2:02; 15. Milwaukee, Howes, 3 pt. (Troy Dusosky), 11:06. Penalties: None.

Shots on goal: Blast 13-8-9-12-42; Milwaukee 10-12-12-6-40. Power-play opportunities: Blast 0-for-0; Wave 0-for-2. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman, 25 shots, 16 saves, Tschantret, 2 shots, 2 saves; Milwaukee, Nogueira, 24 shots, 18 saves. A: 6,029.

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