Road offers no solace to Blast as 4-1 lead vanishes in 6-5 loss

Storm provides extra pain after playoff elimination

Pro Soccer

April 17, 2005|By Jack McCarthy | Jack McCarthy,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHICAGO - Having been eliminated Friday from the race for postseason play, about the only thing the Blast could hope to do yesterday was make life miserable for the host Chicago Storm.

The Storm, however, had a different plan as it rallied from a 4-1 fourth-quarter deficit to upend the Blast, 6-5, before 3,011 fans at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion.

Storm forward Andy Rosenband capped the comeback with a game-winning goal with eight seconds to play.

"It's very frustrating. The whole season has been like that," said Blast forward David Bascome, who scored two goals. "When the fourth quarter came around, we kind of relaxed a little bit, but in this game you can't relax."

The loss was the third straight for the Blast (15-22) and seventh in its past nine games.

Chicago (18-20) finished the season series with four wins in five meetings with the Blast and still harbors playoff hopes with one game to play.

Even well after the game, Chicago coach Frank Klopas seemed a bit stunned by the turn of events, but said he had a feeling the Storm would rally.

"[Even] when we were within one goal, I could sense the urgency among the guys to step it up," he said.

The Blast claimed a 1-0 lead in the opening quarter when forward Giuliano Celenza scored his 32nd goal of the season.

The teams then went nearly 22 minutes before Blast reserve Sipho Sibiya made it a two-goal lead with his 15th goal of the season on a 15-foot shot about four minutes into the third period.

Eight minutes later, Chicago broke the shutout on the first of three goals by midfielder Novi Marojevic.

But the Blast matched it late in the third quarter when Blascome got his first goal on a 25-foot shot past goalie Danny Waltman.

And, just 20 seconds after the start of the fourth quarter, Blast midfielder Nate Houser got his fifth goal of the season.

But Awadalla Morad got things going for the Storm 50 seconds later with his rebound goal past Blast goalie Sagu, who suffered an apparent ankle injury on the play.

Sagu lasted another seven minutes, during which the Blast pushed the lead to 5-3 on Bascome's second goal. Sagu was replaced by Brian Rowland with 12:33 to play.

Chicago started pressuring the second-year pro and scored three times in the final 3:12, the first on a short putback by Mark Ughy, followed by Marojevic's rocket shot from near midfield with 2:12 remaining for 5-5.

Then, with seconds left, Jorge Valle fed Rosenband, who was sprinting up the right wing. Rosenband beat two defenders and hit the top right of the net, past a diving Rowland.

Blast 1 0 2 2 - 5

Chicago 0 0 1 5 - 6

First quarter: 1, Blast, Celenza (Apple)10:35. Penalties: None. Second quarter: None. Penalties: Blast, Hare (Holding) 2:22. Third quarter: 2, Blast, Sibiya (Wakefield) 4:13; 3, Chicago, Marojevic (DaSilva)12:16; 4, Blast Bascome (Tschantret) 13:26. Penalties: Chicago, DeGand (too many men) 6:20; Blast, Bascome (holding) 8:08. Fourth quarter: 5, Blast, Houser (Wakefield) 0:20; 6, Chicago, Morad (Stewart) 1:11; 7, Chicago, Marojevic (Stewart)5:05; 8, Blast, Bascome (Tschantret), 10:38; 9, Chicago, Ughy (Alavanja); 11:48; 10, Chicago, Marojevic (Alavanja)13:57; 11, Chicago, Rosenband (Valle). 14:52. Shots on goal: Blast 2-1-6-5 -14; Chicago 4-4-5-12 -25. Power-play attempts: Blast 0-1; Chicago 0-2. A: 3,011.

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