Pappas in control again as KiXX top Blast, 9-4

Goalie produces 22 saves

Wittman's team falls to 2-3

Pro Soccer

November 02, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA - The Blast went to the Wachovia Spectrum last night with good intentions and showed plenty of early energy.

But, once again, Philadelphia KiXX goalkeeper Peter Pappas put a stop to it.

He got in the way of everything in a busy opening 10 minutes and then got offensive help from Kevin Sloan and Co. in a five-goal, second-quarter flurry that lifted the KiXX to a 9-4 win before a home-opening crowd of 6,878 in Major Indoor Soccer League play.

It was Pappas and the KiXX (3-1) who came away with a 5-3 win to spoil the Blast's home opener on Oct. 11. The Blast, now 2-3 for the season, was hoping to return the favor last night to get over the .500 mark for the first time, but it didn't happen.

Pappas finished with 22 saves and Sloan, an Oakland Mills alumnus, scored four goals to pace the home team, while Blast backup goalkeeper Karim Moumban, making his second straight start in placed of injured starter Scott Hileman, only turned away four of the 11 shots directed his way.

It was sloppy defensive play in the decisive second quarter that had Blast coach Timmy Wittman shaking his head after the disappointing loss.

"We just got away from the game plan," he said. "Everybody was pressuring with their heads cut off without any sense of what they were doing. At that point, they had - what? - four or five goals. We have to be smarter than that."

Frustration came first in the opposition's end, with the Blast coming out fast, showing good possession, but coming away with nothing.

Tarik Walker, Denison Cabral, P.J. Wakefield, Wendell Regis and then Cabral again had good scoring chances in the game's opening 10 minutes, but each was turned away by Pappas, who simply played the angles and showed his great reflexes.

It was nothing the Blast hadn't seen before.

"Pete does it every game and if you don't expect it you're not too bright," said Blast forward Lee Tschantret. "You have to expect to deal with it, fight through it and know going in that's what you're up against."

After an opening goal from Goran Vasic gave the KiXX a 1-0 lead after one period, the home team got two goals from Sloan on the way to five straight in the second quarter to put the Blast on its heels the rest of the way.

Cabral, who led the Blast with two goals, finally got his team on the board on its 14th shot, with 55 seconds left before the break, to cut the lead to 6-1.

"The same positive energy we had at the start should be there the whole game," said Cabral. "We started giving up easy goals and we just can't do it."

NOTES: The Blast's next three games will be at 1st Mariner Arena, starting Saturday when the team welcomes the expansion Monterrey Fury in its first visit to Baltimore. The Blast players will receive their 2002-03 MISL championship rings in a pre-game ceremony.

Blast 0 1 2 1 - 4

Philadelphia 1 5 2 1 - 9

First quarter - 1. Philadelphia, Vasic, (Roberto), 11:32. Penalties - none. Second quarter - 2. Philadelphia, Sloan, (Kopp), :30; 3. Philadelphia, Sloan, (Guastaferro), 4:32; 4.Philadelphia, Kopp, (Brooks), 5:57; 5.Philadelphia, Boney, (Morris), 7:59; 6. Philadelphia, D'Ambra, Shanker, 9:16; 7.Blast, Cabral, (Tschantret), 14:05. Penalties - Philadelphia, bench, (five-minute misconduct), 9:57. Third quarter - 8. Philadelphia, Sloan, 2:23; 9. Blast, Bascome, (Handsor), 6:08; 10. Philadelphia, Sloan, (Aldrich), 10:13; 11.Blast, Handsor, (Celenza), pp., 14:41. Penalties - Blast, Mounbam, (charging), 2:21; Philadelphia, Shanker, (tripping), 3:49; Philadelphia, Aldrich, (elbowing), 13:10. Fourth quarter - 12. Blast, Cabral, (Bascome), pp., 2:18; 13. Philadelphia, D'Ambra, (Kopp), 13:35. Penalties - Philadelphia, Kopp, (pushing), :38; Philadelphia, Dobson, (five-minute misconduct), 2:34 . Shots on goal - Blast 8-7-14-14 --43; Philadelphia3-8-4-5 -- 20. Power-play opportunities - Blast 2-for-3; Philadelphia 0-for-0. Goalkeepers - Blast, Mounbam, 4 saves; Philadelphia, Pappas, 22 saves. A - 6,878.

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