Blast's final effort falls short, 11-8

But Wave forced to work before terminating season for two-year MISL titlists

Pro Soccer

April 25, 2005|By Andrew Wagner | Andrew Wagner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MILWAUKEE - The Blast's two-year run as Major Indoor Soccer League champions is officially over after its 11-8 loss to the Milwaukee Wave yesterday at U.S. Cellular Arena.

The Blast wrapped up the season with a five-game losing streak and a 15-24 record, nine games behind the Wave, whose victory extended its streak of regular-season championships to seven.

Despite some early success yesterday, the Blast was again frustrated by Milwaukee goalkeeper Nick Vorberg, the league leader in wins and goals-against average.

"Give him credit. He stepped up and did what he had to do," Blast coach Tim Wittman said.

The Blast came out of the gate hardly looking like a last-place team that was eliminated from the playoff race weeks ago. In fact, the Blast had a 2-0 lead before most of the 4,261 fans had settled into their seats.

P.J. Wakefield scored the first goal of the game 33 seconds into the first period. Marcos Chantel got the second goal four minutes later, set up by Danny Kelly.

Michael King put the Wave on the board with a shot from the top of the arc off a pass from Marcelo Fontana, but, at 13:31, Wakefield scored again as the ball rolled past Vorberg.

Less than a minute later, the Wave's Greg Howes sent a crossing pass to Todd Dusosky who scored past Blast keeper Brian Rowland.

The Blast then went up by two again when Scott Schweitzer scored at 1:25 off an assist from Sipho Sibiya.

A physical game throughout, tempers flared in the second period when Wakefield got tangled up with Milwaukee's Joe Hammes. The two engaged in a shoving match before players from both sides broke it up. Both went to the penalty box, Hammes for unsportsmanlike conduct and Wakefield for tripping.

The blue card assessed to Wakefield set up a penalty-shot situation for the Wave, and Howes converted to cut the Blast's lead to 4-3.

The Wave tied the game just before halftime and took the lead for good midway through the third period when Howes scored from the right side.

"The guys did come out to play tonight," Wittman said. "I wasn't surprised. We could have come up here and gotten blown out, but we didn't, and I'm happy with that.

"We were trying to salvage something, trying to have some type of heart and end things on a decent note, and they made it tough to do that."

Blast 4 1 1 2 - 8

Milwaukee 2 3 3 3 - 11

First quarter: 1. Blast, Wakefield, 0:33; 2. Blast, Chantel (Kelly), 4:33; 3. Milwaukee, King (Fontana), 10:54; 4. Blast, Wakefield, 13:31; 5. Milwaukee, Dusosky (Howes), 14:02; 6. Blast, Schweitzer (Sibiya), 1:25. Second quarter: 7. Milwaukee, Howes, 3:53; 8. Blast, Regis (Wakefield), 8:09; 9. Milwaukee, Rivillo (Vorberg), 10:25; 10. Milwaukee, Morman (Howes), 14:07. Third quarter: 11. Milwaukee, Rivillo, 3:48; 12. Blast, Schweitzer (Tschantret), 6:56; 13. Milwaukee, Howes (Hewerton), 9:57; 14. Milwaukee, Schmidt (Dusosky), 10:44; Fourth quarter: 15. Milwaukee, King (Howes), 1:25; 16. Blast, Kelly (Nelson), 4:43; 17. Milwaukee, White (Howes), 7:24; 18. Blast, Schweitzer (Wakefield), 11:31; 19. Milwaukee, Vorberg, 13:31

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