Blast picks it up, flattens Steamers

Aristodemo, Cabral lead way with 3 each

Pro Soccer

November 20, 2005|By GARY LAMBRECHT | GARY LAMBRECHT,SUN REPORTER

It took a while to find its footing last night, but once the Blast began to assert its talent and depth, the St. Louis Steamers were overmatched at 1st Mariner Arena.

Sparked by three-goal games from midfielder Robbie Aristodemo and forward Denison Cabral, the Blast took command after the first quarter and rolled to a 12-5 rout before 6,020.

Aristodemo, who was acquired from now-defunct Cleveland in the September dispersal draft, scored back-to-back goals in the middle of a 4-0 run to start the second half as the Blast turned a 5-3 halftime lead into a 9-3 advantage with 4:08 left in the third quarter.

Cabral scored twice early, then scored his third goal while the Blast (2-0) was pouring it on in the final period. The Steamers dropped their season opener.

On a night on which Blast midfielder David Bascome (one goal, two assists) scored his 1,000th career point, the Blast overcame an ankle injury to defender Steve Fell, who did not play. It also absorbed the loss of forward Machel Mllwood, who departed in the first half with left knee and ankle injuries, and did not return.

It was not the smoothest first half for the Blast, which endured Millwoods injury, two yellow-card fouls and did not score for the last 11 minutes of the second quarter. Still, the Blast put together an offensive flurry in the middle of the half, and that was good enough for a 5-3 halftime lead.

The Steamers applied immediate pressure on the Blasts defense early and took a 2-1 lead. But, when Sagu wasnt making an occasional, outstanding save for Baltimore, St. Louis was missing an occasional wide-open shot.

St. Louis forward Mike Appel, who was traded to the Steamers by the Blast last week, scored the first of his two first-half goals with 6:42 left in the first quarter. That came after a free kick, which was preceded by a handball violation by Sagu, and it put St. Louis on top 2-1.

The Blast, which could not get its offense going early, came alive late in the opening quarter. Cabral, with an assist from Aristodemo, beat goalie Brett Phillips with 58 seconds left to tie the score at 2. With that, the Blast was off on a 4-0 run, including a three-goal burst in the first 3:42 of the second period.

Bascome, Millwood and forward Adauto Neto (two goals, three assists) combined to turn the momentum in Baltimores favor. Neto fed Bascome for an easy goal to put the Blast in front 3-2 with 13:10 left in the half. Thirty seconds later, Millwood dribbled into the open on the right wing and fired a shot toward the far post to make it 4-2.

Neto then seemingly got trapped along the boards on the right side, only to beat a Steamers defender and slide a shot past Harris from a difficult angle, just inside the far post. With 11:18 left in the half, the Blast led 5-2.

Two minutes later, after Apples power-play goal made it 5-3, the Blast took a hit when Millwood got called for a pushing foul and went down on the play. After lying on the field for several minutes, Millwood limped off the field in pain.

gary.lambrecht@baltsun.com

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