Blast quickly rolls to 3rd win in row

Celenza, Bailey each score 2 in matinee

Blast 8 Kixx 4

Pro Soccer

February 09, 2006|By VINCE DIGREGORIO | VINCE DIGREGORIO,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Philadelphia -- After rallying to win a pair of one-goal games, the Blast made sure it took early control of yesterday morning's game against the Philadelphia KiXX, and needed less than a minute to do it.

Giuliano Celenza scored the first of his two goals 55 seconds into the game, Joel Bailey had two goals and P.J. Wakefield added three assists to power the Blast to an 8-4 victory before 9,356 at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Robbie Aristodemo, Adauto Neto, Carlos Garcia and Sumed Ibrahim also scored for the Blast (12-6), which has won three straight and four of its past five.

John Barry Nusum scored twice for reeling Philadelphia (4-11), which has dropped six in a row overall and has lost its past five home contests.

Blast goalie Sagu stopped 12 shots to record his 10th win of the season.

After Nusum tied the game at 1 at 10:21 of the first quarter, Wakefield quickly found Aristodemo, who beat KiXX goalkeeper Peter Pappas six seconds after Nusum's goal to return the momentum to the Blast.

"That was pretty big," Blast coach Tim Wittman said. "That's not planned, but if you can get a goal right after they get some momentum, it puts the momentum back for our team."

Bailey scored both of his goals in the second quarter to give the Blast a 4-1 halftime advantage. Bailey scored 5:25 into the period before redirecting a perfect give-and-go pass from Wakefield at 10:33.

"I'm absolutely delighted that I got on the score sheet twice," Bailey said.

Said Celenza: "They scored to tie it 1-1 and [then] Robbie scores a nice goal on an assist from P.J. ... I think the momentum just changed right there."

Wakefield then assisted on Celenza's 29th goal at 2:39 of the third quarter, and Neto followed with an unassisted goal 80 seconds later to give the Blast a 6-1 cushion.

"I thought he played great," Wittman said of Wakefield. "Not just the assists. I think he played great defense."

Apparently, the 10:35 a.m. start had no effect on Wakefield and his teammates.

"You're usually playing those 7 o'clock games at night, but we practice in the morning at 10, so everybody's used to playing at 10 in the morning," Wakefield said. "We came out with a little bit of fire. I helped the team out by getting three assists today."

The KiXX pulled within 6-2 after three periods, but Garcia and Ibrahim scored 29 seconds apart midway through the fourth before Philadelphia added a couple of late goals.

Celenza will join fellow All-Stars Wakefield, Neto and Danny Kelly in Milwaukee for Saturday's All-Star Game.

"I was looking forward to being off," Wakefield said, "but it's going to be a fun event with [Celenza] and Danny and Neto to go play with and have fun for a weekend."

Blast 2 2 2 2 - 8

Philadelphia 1 0 1 2 - 4

First quarter: 1. Blast, Celenza (Millwood), 0:55. 2. Philadelphia, Nusum (Myers), 10:21. 3. Blast, Aristodemo (Wakefield), 10:27. Penalties: None.

Second quarter: 4. Blast, Bailey (Tschantret), 5:25. 5. Blast, Bailey (Wakefield), 10:33. Penalties: None.

Third quarter: 6. Blast, Celenza (Wakefield), 2:39. 7. Blast, Neto, 3:59. 8. Philadelphia, Vasic, 5:27. Penalties: DePalma, Philadelphia (tripping), 6:02.

Fourth quarter: 9. Blast, Garcia (Tschantret) 8:17. 10. Blast, Ibrahim (Bascome) 8:46. 11. Philadelphia, Boney, 10:09. 12. Philadelphia, Nusum (Vasic), 14:12. Penalties: Garcia, Blast (tripping), 1:35.

Shots on goal: Blast 20, Philadelphia 18. Power plays: Blast 0 of 1; Philadelphia 0 of 1. Goalies: Blast, Sagu (12 saves); Philadelphia, Pappas (9 saves). A: 9,356.

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