Eller's overtime goal gives Blast 6-5 victory

One-touch effort on shot by Walker beats Steamers

Pro Soccer

December 19, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The Blast, mired in last place in the Eastern Division most of the season, managed a far better showing against St. Louis last night than in its previous meeting with the Steamers.

The two-time Major Indoor Soccer League-champion Blast (5-8) defeated St. Louis (8-5), a Central Division contender, 6-5, on a goal by Allen Eller with one second left in the first overtime period at 1st Mariner Arena.

Eller one-touched in a shot to the far post by Tarik Walker to prevent his team from absorbing its eighth loss in its past 10 games and from experiencing what would have been only the second double-overtime game in franchise history.

"We wanted to win one at home. It was something we needed to do," Eller said.

Walker also had the assist on the game-tying goal by P. J. Wakefield with 3:33 left in regulation.

"I didn't realize there were only five seconds left until I heard the crowd say it," said Walker. "It was definitely a shot and Allen was there."

The return from a three-game absence of coach Tim Wittman, who was operated on for kidney stones earlier in the day, provided a spark for the Blast.

"It meant a lot to have him back because he puts pressure on us to succeed," said Eller, who scored only his second goal of the season. "A win like this can change a season."

The teams had split two previous games, with the Blast winning, 8-7, in overtime in St. Louis and the Steamers earning a 12-9 victory in Baltimore.

The Blast began aggressively last night, apparently determined to right its listing ship, in jumping out to a 2-0 lead.

David Bascome struck first on a right-footed shot to the far post off an assist by Marco Chantel at the 3:29 mark of the first quarter.

Giuliano Celenza made it 2-0 when he scored off a power play at 5:01 after a two-minute holding penalty against Jeff DiMaria of the Steamers.

St. Louis rallied on a sizzling restart goal by Ibrahim Kante at 5:47. Kante then immediately drew a five-minute misconduct penalty for pulling up his shirt in celebration.

The Steamers then tied it at 2 at 10:35 of the second quarter on another goal by Kante off a lead pass from Cal Thomas.

The Blast appeared to take control in the third quarter on back-to-back goals. Lee Tschantret scored from inside the box off a feed from Celenza, and Machel Millwood also scored from inside the box at 9:04.

But St. Louis, with some deft passing, scored twice in the final two minutes of the period on shots by D.J. Newsome and Mike Apple.

St. Louis 1 1 2 1 0 - 5

Blast 2 0 2 1 1 - 6

First quarter- 1, Blast, Bascome (Chantel) 3:29. 2, Blast, Celenza (PPG RSG) 5:01. 3, STL, Kante (RSG) 5:47. Penalties- DiMaria, STL (Holding), 4:03. Kante, STL (Removing shirt), 5:47. Second quarter- STL, Kante (Thomas) 7:35. Penalties- Schweitzer, Blast (Tripping), 2:31. Third quarter: 5, Blast, Tschantret (Celenza) 8:11. 6, Blast, Millwood (Eller) 9:04. 7, STL, Newsome (Doran) 13:38. 8, STL, Apple (Susi) 14:16. Penalties - None. Fourth quarter - 9, STL, Apple (Westcott) 3:25. 10, Blast, Wakefield (Walker) (PPG) 11:27. Penalties- Sagu, Blast (Charging GK), 8:44. Westcott, STL (Holding), 10:27. Overtime - 11, Blast Eller (Walker) 14:59. Shots on goal - STL 4-6-7-2-6 - 25; Blast 5-5-6-5-4 - 25. Penalty kick conversions: St. Louis -- 0-0, Blast 0-0. Power-play conversions: St. Louis -- 0-2, Blast 2-2. Goalies - St. Louis, Baptiste (13, 9, 4, 46:26) Phillips (6, 4, 2, 28:33); Blast, Sagu (18, 13, 5, 71:50) Rowland (0, 0, 0, 3:03) Schweitzer (0, 0, 0, 0:06). A - 5,641.

Next for Blast

Matchup: Blast (5-8) vs. Philadelphia KiXX (8-5)

Site: 1st Mariner Arena

When: Next Sunday, 6:05 p.m.

Radio: WCBM (680 AM)

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.