Blast pulls out win over Steamers, 8-7

Wakefield's overtime goal saves day as road victory improves record to 2-1

Pro Soccer

October 30, 2004|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. LOUIS - Two-time defending champions aren't supposed to be treated like this.

With coach Tim Wittman ejected nine seconds into the third quarter for arguing with referees Brian Hall and Ali Saheli, the Blast held on to win, 8-7, in overtime over the St. Louis Steamers last night.

Wittman ended up protesting too much after Steamers goalie Brett Phillips came off his line and sent the Blast's Billy Nelson into the boards. Assistant coach Max Thompson filled in.

"I would do the same thing again," said Wittman. "I have to protect my players. I don't want to get in any more trouble, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut. Brett Phillips is a good player and he had to make that play, but I have to stick up for my players."

The Blast didn't panic in the aftermath and its experience gave it a boost. P.J. Wakefield scored his second goal of the game at 1:32 of overtime for the victory as the champions improved to 2-1.

"We picked it up and Sagu made some great saves for us," said Blast midfielder Lee Tschantret. "We were fortunate to get by tonight."

Despite the come-from-behind win, Wittman wasn't too pleased with the effort from his club.

"It was a sloppy win," he said. "With all the experience we have, we should have not let them get back in the game. It's something we're going to have to work on, St. Louis really worked hard and ran all over tonight."

Ibrahim Dante raced the length of the field to give St. Louis a short-lived lead at 13:06. The Blast tied the game with Scott Schweitzer on as the sixth attacker. Giuliano Celenza beat Brett Phillips at 13:54 to send the game into overtime at 7-7.

The third quarter was wide open, with seven goals scored as it ended at 6-6.

Lee Tschantret scored at 9 seconds, but the Steamers responded with Joe Reiniger's goal at 40 seconds - a left-footed shot that made it 4-3, Blast.

Sterling Wescott scored at 1:03 to tie the game for St. Louis at 4-4.

Denison Cabral gave the Blast the lead at 2:20, but Jeff DiMaria got his second goal of the night with some tough work from Randy Soderman along the boards at 10:10. Wakefield scored a pretty goal from the top of the arc at 10:25, but Doran scored at 14:31 when Sagu was screened by Matt Caution and the game was tied at 6.

The Blast looked like champions in the first half, showing calm and steady play compared with the tight Steamers, who seemed to be battling opening-night jitters. The Blast held a 3-2 lead at halftime and it could have been worse for St. Louis.

Tarik Walker controlled a rebound off the boards and gave the Blast the lead at 4:04 of the first, Sagu started the play with a nice throw down the middle of the floor.

Blast 2 1 3 1 1 - 8

St. Louis 1 1 4 1 0 - 7

First quarter - Blast, Walker (Sagu), 4:04; Blast, Farias (Wakefield) 6:34; SL Dasilva, 14:21. Penalties - None . Second quarter - Blast, McPeak (Tschantret) 5:30; SL, DiMaria (Doran) 12:26. Penalties - SL Doran 5 min., misconduct; Blast, Schweitzer, 5 min., misconduct. Blast, Gilbert, 2 min., tripping; SL, Walton, 2 mins., tripping; Third quarter - Blast, Tschantret (Cabral), :09; SL, Reiniger (DaSilva) :40; SL, Westcott (Apple) 1:03; Blast, Cabral (Wakefield) 2:20: SL, DiMaria (Soderman) 10:10; Blast, Wakefield (Garcia) 10:25; SL, Doran 14:31. Penalties - SL, Newsom, 2 mins. holding, SL, Soderman, 2 mins tripping. Fourth quarter - SL (Kente, 13:06; Blast, Celenza (Schweitzer) 13:45. Penalties - None. OT - Wakefield (Cabral), 1:32. Penalties - None. Shots on goal - Blast 30, SL 31. Power play opportunities - Blast 0-3, SL 1-2. Saves - Sagu, Blast 20 of 27. SL - Phillips 15 of 23. A - 4,852.

Next for Blast

Matchup: Philadelphia KiXX (1-0) at Blast (2-1)

Site: 1st Mariner Arena

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

Radio: WCBM (680 AM)

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