Blast trips Steamers, 4-3, wins 4th in row

Bascome, Eller score, pull visitors away from 2-2 tie

Soccer

November 27, 2003|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - Defending champions never take any team for granted, especially on the road and especially in the Major Indoor Soccer League. The Blast waited patiently and finished when it counted to defeat the St. Louis Steamers, 4-3, last night at Family Arena.

Baltimore (6-3) won for the fourth consecutive time and St. Louis (2-5) fell for the fourth straight game.

"They really worked hard and made us work hard," said Blast coach Tim Wittman. "They had us running around and working, that's for sure. I don't care who you play in this league, every night it's tough."

The Steamers made it close when Sipho Sibiya scored at 10:45 off a headball to cut the lead to 4-3. The Blast didn't panic even with the Steamers pressuring to the end.

"We were a little panicked in the end," said forward Lee Tschantret. "We got a little lucky, too. They came out to play and they worked hard. We worked hard and finished our chances when it counted."

St. Louis started to falter in the fourth quarter and the Blast took advantage. David Bascome scored on a power play off a restart at 3:07 after Craig Scheer was called for holding. Baltimore went up 4-2 when Allen Eller scored at 9:59 after Stamers goalie Brett Phillips was screened by D.J. Newsom.

St. Louis tied the game at 2 in the third quarter on a power play when Aaron Susi scored at 14:51 off a restart from the right corner. Susi started the play when he was tripped by Blast defender Billy Nelson.

The Blast kept the pressure up in the third quarter and should have had a few goals.

Phillips kept the Steamers in the game with key saves on Tariik Walker, Dewan Bader, Denison Cabral, Bascome and P.J. Wakefield. Blast goalie Scott Hileman made his best save of the game when he came off his line to stop Scheer.

The Blast was all over the Steamers in the first half but had trouble converting, taking a 2-1 lead. Chris Handsor started the scoring at 4:57 of the first quarter when he beat Phillips on a breakaway. Cabral set up the goal with a nice pass from just outside the Blast goal.

Tschantret preserved the Blast lead minutes later when he cleared a Jason Cole shot off the line that had Hileman beat. Walker came close midway through the first quarter when he broke in alone on Phillips but Newsom managed to get back.

Steamers midfielder Jeff DiMaria tied it at 1 with a goal at 13:20 of the first quarter.

Eller gave the Blast a 2-1 lead at 1:51 of the second quarter with some help from Walker. Walker pressured rookie defender Mike Kirchhoff and he lost the ball to Eller, who beat Phillips to the near post.

Blast 1 1 0 2 - 4

St. Louis 1 0 1 1 - 3

First quarter: Blast, Handsor (Cabral) 4:57; St. Louis, DiMaria (Butcher) 13:20. Penalty: Blast, Farias (5-minute misconduct) 13:20.

Second quarter: Blast, Eller (Walker) 1:51; Penalties: none.

Third quarter: St. Louis, Susi (Doran) 14:51. Penalty: Blast Nelson (tripping) 14:43.

Fourth quarter: Blast, Bascome (Kelly) 6:34; Blast, Eller (unassisted) 9:59; St. Louis, Sibiya (Butcher) 10:45. Penalties: St. Louis, Scheer (holding) 3:07; St. Louis, Phillips (handball) 6:32.

Shots on goal: Blast 4-5-9-13-31; St. Louis 9-6-11-11-37. Power-play opportunities: Blast 1 of 2; St. Louis 1-of-1. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman 22 saves; St. Louis, Phillips 19 saves, Hernandez 0 saves, DiMaria 0 saves.. A: 3,875.

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