Blast pulls out of dive with 6-5 win over Storm

Bascome scores winner

Wittman stays on bench

Pro Soccer

February 28, 2005|By Jack McCarthy | Jack McCarthy,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHICAGO - With injuries mounting and his team without a win in three weeks, Blast coach Tim Wittman considered reaching into his team's storied past in a bid to reverse its fortunes yesterday.

But with the Blast ahead through most of its Major Indoor Soccer League game against the Chicago Storm, the fourth-year coach figured he didn't need to play his alter ego - team Hall of Famer Tim Wittman.

"No, that's the last thing I wanted to do," said Wittman, 42, who activated himself as a player for yesterday's game at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"But we got to a point in a couple of games where we didn't have enough players to go around."

The Blast (12-15) ended a four-game losing streak with its 6-5 victory over the Storm (13-14), its first win in three tries against the MISL expansion team.

Chicago scored twice late in the third period to force a 4-4 tie, but the Blast reclaimed the lead at 5-4 with nine seconds remaining in the quarter as David Bascome scored after taking a pass from Lee Tschantret on a free kick.

Wendell Regis' 25-yard shot with 6:32 gone in the fourth quarter made it 6-4.

The Blast scored first in the game and never trailed. Just over three minutes into the game, Tarik Walker took a cross-field feed from Allen Eller, whirled and sent a 10-foot shot past goalie Danny Waltman.

The lead was short-lived as Storm forward Mark Ughy recorded his 10th goal of the season on a power-play opportunity two minutes later.

The Blast reclaimed the advantage early in the second quarter and opened a two-goal edge as halftime neared.

Tschantret got his ninth goal of the year 54 seconds into the period and Bascome scored on a breakaway with about five minutes remaining in the half.

Chicago trimmed the lead to 3-2 on a header by Matthew Stewart at 10:59.

In the third quarter, Eller restored a two-goal advantage at 5:24 when he controlled a deflection off the boards and got an easy goal as Waltman was briefly out of position.

Six Blast players are out with a variety of injuries. Wittman, a star on the team's 1983-84 MISL champions, last played extensively in 1994-95 and was activated for two games in 2004-05.

The Blast will be home tomorrow for a 7:05 p.m. game against the second-place Philadelphia KiXX.

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