5-3 defeat costs Blast best mark in MISL

Wave goes half game up with five left, including Baltimore finale April 3

Pro Soccer

March 15, 2004|By Nick Dettmann | Nick Dettmann,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE -- In a game with the league's best record at stake, the Blast lost to the Milwaukee Wave, 5-3, yesterday at U.S. Cellular Arena to end its four-game winning streak.

With the defeat, the Blast (22-9) traded places with the Wave (22-8) for best record in the Major Indoor Soccer League with five games to go. The teams will play once more this season -- in the season finale on April 3 at 1st Mariner Arena.

"They got it now. There's nothing I can do about it," Blast coach Tim Wittman said of the result. "I think their power-play goal hurt us. ... It was close. The game switched tides a couple times. There were a lot of penalties that were called that disrupted the flow of the game a bit."

In the first quarter, the Blast played tight on defense, an area in which it has struggled all season. It also came out firing on offense, getting numerous chances to score, but the top defense in the league, including goalkeeper Dan Green, kept the ball out of the net.

The Wave struck first in the first quarter on a restart. Milwaukee's Joe Reiniger, who is known for his tough shot, was awarded a free-kick opportunity.

But instead of using his big foot, Reiniger chipped a pass to Todd Dusosky, who was all by himself next to the net and tapped the ball in.

The Blast responded in the second quarter as the second-best power-play unit in the MISL went to work.

After a penalty against Milwaukee's Lovelace Ackah, the Blast's Carlos Farias sent a shot into the top corner of the net from 15 yards to tie the score. Baltimore would add a power-play goal to take a 2-1 lead.

"We haven't been great with the power play," Wittman said, "but it seemed to work pretty good today. But you've got to score other than on the power play."

Milwaukee got a late goal from Troy Dusosky to tie it before the teams headed to the locker room.

The hard-nosed play continued in the second half, though Wittman downplayed that aspect of the game.

"It was physical, and it wasn't physical," he said. "When you have this many calls, this many power plays, it disrupts the play of the game. I don't think it was that physical.

"But they did what they had to do to win. We just couldn't figure it out."

Blast 0 2 1 0 -- 3

Milwaukee 1 1 1 2 -- 5

First quarter--1, Milwaukee, Todd Dusosky (Reiniger), 10:28. Penalties--none.

Second quarter--2, Blast, Farias (Bascome), 5:46, power play; 3, Blast, Celenza (Bascome), 10:59; 4, Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky (Todd Dusosky), 14:47. Penalties--Milwaukee, Ackah (tripping), 5:00; Milwaukee, Stewart (dangerous play), 10:33; Milwaukee, Ackah (tripping), 13:37; Blast, Walker (pushing), 14:31; Blast, team (delay of game), 14:31; Blast, Farias (5-min misconduct), 14:47; Blast, Farias (misconduct), 15:00.

Third quarter--5, Milwaukee, Howes (Green), 11:42; 6, Blast, Cabral (unassisted), 12:18, power play. Penalties--Milwaukee, White (tripping), 12:14; Blast, Kante (holding), 14:20.

Fourth quarter--7, Milwaukee, Howes (Reiniger), 0:27; 8, Milwaukee, Todd Dusosky (Reiniger), 14:52. Penalties--none.

Shots on goal--Blast 10-9-2-11 - 32; Milwaukee 9-8-10-6 - 33. Power-play opportunities--Blast 3 for 4; Milwaukee 1 for 4. Goalkeepers--Blast, Hileman, 11 saves; Milwaukee, Green, 12 saves. A--8,055.

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