Blast opens scoring, but Wave dominates play for 6-1 victory

Two-time champs beaten for 7th time in 9 games

Pro Soccer

December 18, 2004|By Andrew J. Wagner | Andrew J. Wagner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - Things aren't getting any easier as the Blast looks to stake a claim for a third consecutive Major Indoor Soccer League championship.

Defensively stymied throughout the contest, the Blast allowed five unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 loss to the Milwaukee Wave last night in front of an announced crowd of 2,866 at U.S. Cellular Arena.

The injury-riddled Blast's seventh loss in nine starts dropped the team's record to 4-8.

Assistant coach Max Thompson - sitting in for Tim Wittman, who is still recovering from kidney ailments - was less than pleased and let it be known that changes could be afoot.

"This has happened to us too many times this season," Thompson said. "We're going to make some changes, and we're going to have to do things differently.

"Guys think they're doing enough, but they're not."

Milwaukee dominated the ball for much of the contest, and on occasions in which the Blast got the ball into the attacking zone, Baltimore's shots seemed to find the feet of Wave defenders.

"They just worked so much harder than us - just basic soccer where they give 100 percent and we didn't," Thompson said. "We told the guys to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they've given enough effort."

The Blast struck first, taking a 1-0 lead at 5:51, when P.J. Wakefield pushed defender Scott Schweitzer's pass past Wave goal keeper Nick Vorberg.

The Wave responded two minutes later on Kevin Burk's unassisted score and took the lead at 9:35, when Matt Schmidt set up Angel Rivillo's score from the right-hand corner.

The Wave added a pair of goals off the foot of Johnny Torres at 11:33 of the first and 3:10 of the second to round out the first half.

The Wave added two insurance goals in the fourth. Burk picked up his second goal of the contest when he was set up by Michael King at 1:21, and Greg Howes made it 6-1 at 6:15.

Vorberg entered the game as the league's second-leading keeper, allowing an average of just 4.29 goals a game. He registered five saves.

Credit was due to his defenders, who held MISL points leader Carlos Farias to just three shots in the contest. In all, the Blast managed just 18 shots on goal.

Frustration boiled over for Farias in the fourth quarter, when he engaged in an altercation with Milwaukee's Joe Hammes. Farias drew a red card for violent conduct and was ejected with just over two minutes to play; Hammes drew a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I'm sure it was frustrating, but you know that if you raise your hands, you're going to get ejected," Thompson said. "It's an expensive lesson for [the team] to learn."

In goal, Baltimore's Brian Rowland stopped 27 of Milwaukee's 42 shots.

Blast 1 0 0 0 - 1

Milwaukee 3 1 0 2 - 6

First quarter -- 1, Blast, Wakefield (Schweitzer), 5:51; 2, Milwaukee, Burk (unassisted), 7:55; 3, Milwaukee, Rivillo (Schmidt), 9:35; 4, Milwaukee, Torres (Tr.Dusosky), 11:33. Second quarter -- 5, Milwaukee, Torres (Greenfield), 3:10. Third quarter -- No scoring. Fourth quarter -- 6, Milwaukee, Burk (King), 1:51; 7, Milwaukee, Howes (Hammes), 6:15. Shots-on-goal - Blast 5-5-3-5-18; Milwaukee14-7-14-7-42. Saves-Blast 27, Milwaukee 5. Shootout conversions - Blast 0-0; Milwaukee 0-0. Power play conversions- Blast 0-1; Milwaukee 1-2.

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