8-4 win puts Blast on verge of title

With latest domination, of Wave, team extends series advantage to 2-0

Pro Soccer

April 25, 2004|By Scott Creighton | Scott Creighton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - Much of the talk leading up to the Major Indoor Soccer League Finals between the Blast and Milwaukee Wave focused on the Blast's powerful offense and the Wave's league-leading defense.

But through the first two games, the Blast has sparkled at both ends of the floor.

The Blast took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series last night with an 8-4 victory in front of 6,792 fans at U.S. Cellular Arena, becoming the first team to win the first two games of the MISL Finals on the road since 1997.

The Blast can wrap up the series Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at 1st Mariner Arena. Should Milwaukee stay alive with a win in Game 3, Game 4 will be Sunday at 6:05 p.m. in Baltimore.

Blast coach Tim Wittman didn't see his team's effort as all that balanced, however.

"Our offense is not what's winning these games," he said. "It's the defense - everybody getting back and getting behind the ball. They're coming together and busting their tails."

The Blast has outscored its opponents 26-8 in three postseason games, including Friday's 12-3 victory over Milwaukee and a 6-1 semifinal win over Dallas. Also, it has limited the Wave to one goal in the first half of each game of the finals.

And last night the winners held the MISL regular season's leading scorer, Greg Howes, scoreless.

Similar to Friday's opener, when eight Blast players scored, seven members of the team had goals last night. Danny Kelly led the Blast with a pair of goals, breaking open a tight game with both of his scores early in the second half.

He gave the Blast a 3-1 lead at 2:27 when he charged in unchallenged on Wave goalkeeper Dan Green and ripped a left-footer just inside the far post. Forward Chile Farias, who led the Blast with three goals Friday, sent Kelly in on the goal with a pass from the right side.

Two minutes later, Kelly scored his second of the night to put the Blast ahead 4-1. His shot from the yellow line deflected off defender Troy Dusosky and past a helpless Green.

Milwaukee's Marcelo Fontana cut into the Blast's lead 18 seconds later when he deflected Joe Reiniger's free kick past Scott Hileman. But Farias got that goal back just as quickly, putting a 50-foot free kick into the top left corner to give the Blast a 5-2 lead with 10:08 left in the third.

After the Wave's Troy Dusosky was sent to the penalty box for tripping Alan Eller from behind, Denison Cabral gave the Blast a four-goal advantage when he converted at 5:17.

"Everybody back home was saying just get one," Hileman said. "But we never thought that way. Our goal was to come in here and bang out two wins. Now we need to bang out three."

Blast 1 1 5 1 - 8

Milwaukee 0 1 2 1 - 4

First quarter: 1. Blast, Johnson (Tschantret) 11:38. Penalties: Blast, Kelly (holding) 7:47. Second quarter: 2. Blast, Nelson (Handsor) 8:08; 3. Milwaukee, Todd Dusosky (unassisted) 8:17. Penalties:None. Third quarter: 4. Blast, Kelly (Farias) 2:27; 5. Blast, Kelly (unassisted) 4:02; 6. Milwaukee, Fontana (Reiniger) 4:20; 7. Blast, Farias (unassisted) 4:52; 8. Blast, Cabral (power play, shootout), 5:17; 9. Milwaukee, Morman (Reiniger) 5:28; 10. Blast, Celenza (Walker) power play, 14:24. Penalties: Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky (tripping) 5:14; Milwaukee, O'Brien (tripping) 6:14; Milwaukee, Schmidt (caution) 6:14; Milwaukee, Fontana (tripping) 13:40. Fourth quarter: 11. Milwaukee, Troy Dusosky (Todd Dusosky) 5:28; 12. Blast, Wakefield (Tschantret), 11:26. Penalties: None. Shots on goal: Blast--6-9-16-6-37; Milwaukee--6-9-8-10-33. Power-play opportunities: Blast 2-for-3; Milwaukee 0-for-1. Penalty kicks: Blast 0-for-0; Milwaukee 0-for-0. Shootout opportunities: Blast 1-for-1; Milwaukee 0-for-0. Goalkeepers: Blast, Hileman, 14 saves; Milwaukee, Green, 18 saves. Att.: 6,792.

MISL Finals

Blast vs. Wave

(Best of five; *-if necessary)

Blast leads series 2-0

Game 1: Blast 12, Milwaukee 3

Last night: Blast 8, Milwaukee 4

Saturday: at Blast, 7:35

*May 2: at Blast, 6:05

*May 8: at Milwaukee, 8:35

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