Sidekicks top Blast in OT, 7-6

Ricardinho scores winner as Blast falls from 1st place


December 28, 2003|By Rick Mauch | Rick Mauch,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DALLAS - Given its lack of success on Saturdays, the Blast might want to rethink its schedule in the future.

The Blast, undefeated on all other days of the week this season, fell to 1-5 on Saturdays with a 7-6 overtime loss to the Dallas Sidekicks at Reunion Arena last night.

Ricardinho scored the game-winning goal, his second of the season, at 11:52 of overtime on a power play. It was the Sidekicks' second power play in overtime. Dallas had killed off a Blast power play earlier in the extra period.

The Blast's Denison Cabral forced overtime when he scored on a penalty kick at 11:38 of the fourth quarter.

"We just didn't have much legs, that's all there is to it," Blast coach Tim Wittman said. "We fought back, but after we did we started making mistakes. I don't know if it was the fatigue or what.

"Today we didn't have much of a game plan. We thought we'd come in here and [steal] one. That's the tough thing. We could have."

The Blast got goals from five players and assists from three. P.J. Wakefield scored twice in the second half, and Giuliano Celenza's late third-period goal brought them within 5-4.

The Sidekicks (8-7), leaders of the Western Division, had seven players with a goal and four with assists, led by Nick Stavrou with a goal and assist. Beau Brown had three assists.

The loss was the second in three games for the Blast (9-5), which had previously won six straight. The Blast surrendered the Eastern Division lead back to Philadelphia (9-4), whom they'd moved a half game ahead of with Friday's 8-4 win over the KiXX in Baltimore.

The Sidekicks took a 3-2 halftime lead on Kiley Couch's goal early in the second period.

The Blast had first-quarter leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Lee Tschantret scored 27 seconds into the game and Tarik Walker found the net at 9:39. Each time Dallas answered, with goals from Jose Alvarado and Nick Stavrou.

Tschantret returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for being ejected from the Blast-Kansas City game on Dec. 13. The Blast was playing without defenseman Neil Gilbert, who is fulfilling a pre-Blast signing commitment in Argentina.

The game featured two of the Major Indoor Soccer League's top three goalkeepers in goals-against average. The Blast's Scott Hileman (8-4), who entered the game with a 4.60 average, posted 15 saves, as did Dallas' Sagu (8-6), second with a 3.90 average.

Blast 2 0 2 2 0 - 6

Dallas 2 1 2 1 1 - 7

First quarter- 1. Bal, Tschantret (Cabral), :27; 2. Dal, Alvarado (Brown), 2:31; 3. Bal, Walker (unassisted), 9:39; 4. Dal, Stavrou (Filo), 10:35.

Second quarter- 5. Dal, Couch (Fabinho), 4:23. Penalty- Celenza, Bal (holding), 8:22.

Third quarter- 6. Dal, Nash (Brown), 1:06; 7. Bal, Wakefield (unassisted), 2:43; 8. Dal, Shamu (Stavrou), 3:45; 9. Bal, Celenza (Farias), 12:42.

Fourth quarter-10. Dal, Doyle (Brown), 3:10' 11. Bal, Wakefield (Walker), 6:27; 12. Bal, Cabral (unassisted, penalty kick), 11:38. Penalties-Kelly, Bal (boarding), :51; Fabinho, Dal (holding), 11:37.

Overtime- 13. Dal, Ricardinho (unassisted, power play), 11:52. Penalties- Cabral, Bal (handball), :50; Sinisa, Dal (tripping), 5:05; Eller, Bal (Charging), 9:43.

Shots on goal - Bal. 34, Dal. 32. Goalkeepers -Bal., Hileman 8-4 (15 saves). Dal., Sagu 8-6 (15 saves). Power plays - Bal, 1 of 2. Dal. 1 of 4. Fouls - Bal. 12, Dal. 20. Blocks - Bal., 10 Dal., 13. Att. - 4,756.

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