Blast has just enough in beating KiXX, 10-9

Four-goal leads disappear, but team wins 3rd straight

March 06, 2004|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Blast coach Tim Wittman had been concerned about how his team would start the game last night after a 12-day layoff.

Though those fears were allayed with a dominating early performance, it was how the Blast finished that made the difference in a 10-9 win over the Philadelphia KiXX before a season-high 9,315 at 1st Mariner Arena.

Trailing by a goal midway through the fourth quarter, the Blast got three straight goals, including scores by Chile Farias and David Bascome within a 43-second span, to propel the team to its third straight win.

For Wittman, however, the outcome was too close for comfort.

"We played well [early] ... but there's no reason why Philadelphia should have gotten back in the game," he said. "It comes down to 4-0, game looks easy and then people start taking things in their own hands a little bit, instead of sticking with the system we have."

Still, the win put the defending Major Indoor Soccer League-champion Blast (21-8) four games ahead of Philadelphia (16-11) in the Eastern Division with seven to play. It also was the Blast's seventh straight win at home.

The team will go for its fourth straight win tonight (7:35) against San Diego.

After being off since Feb. 22 because of the league's All-Star break, the Blast hardly missed a beat in the early moments last night.

Just 30 seconds into the game, Farias fired a shot that deflected off Lee Tschantret and into the net, giving the Blast a 1-0 lead. In quick succession, Giuliano Celenza, Carlos Garcia and Celenza again followed with goals to extend the lead to 4-0 after 8:31 of play.

Trailing 5-1, however, the KiXX began to rally. Defender Tony McPeak's back-to-back goals midway through the second quarter started a 7-2 run for Philadelphia, which took an 8-7 lead on the second of Pat Morris' game-high three goals with 10:46 left.

"We have to stay focused," said Bascome. "Every little mistake you make, the ball can go in."

Down the stretch, however, it was Bascome who made the difference.

First, he picked off a pass near midfield, drove to his right and fired a shot from 10-yards in front that beat goalie Stuart Dobson low and to the right with 5:31 left. He then scored on a solo effort with 2:40 left to give the Blast a two-goal lead.

"If we can play that way for four quarters, we're going to be very hard to beat," said Wittman. "But we can't have all superstars out there. We're going to be playing someone in the playoffs, and we can't play like that."

Philadelphia 1 3 2 3 - 9

Blast 4 1 2 3 - 10

First quarter - Phil., Guastaferro (unassisted), 13:06. Blast, Tschantret (Farias), 0:30; Blast, Celenza (Wakefield), 6:46; Blast, Garcia (Cabral), 7:27; Blast, Cenenza (Daughtridge), 8:31. Penalties-None. Second quarter - Phil., McPeak (Aldrich), 5:47; Phil., McPeak (unassisted), 7:21; Phil., Aldrich (Dobson), 8:38. Blast, Wakefield (Walker), 5:28. Penalties - None. Third quarter - Phil., Guastaferra (unassisted), 1:30; Phil., Morris (D'Ambra), 6:19. Blast, Cabral (Walker), 1:10; Blast, Daughtridge (unassisted), 10:43. Penalties - Phil., Kopp (Holding), 3:14; Blast, Bench (Too many men on field), 7:55. Fourth quarter - Phil., Roberto (unassisted) 3:24; Phil., Morris (Kopp), 4:16; Phil., Morris (unassisted), 14:39. Blast, Farias (Nelson), 6:14; Blast, Bascome (unassisted), 9:29; Blast, Bascome (unassisted), 12:20. Penalties - None. Shots on goal - Phil. - 34; Blast - 30. Power plays - Phil. 0-for-1; Blast 0-for-1. Goalkeepers - Phil., Dobson, 10 saves. Blast, Hileman, 13 saves. A- 9,315.

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