Back from bye, Blast stumbles

Howes scores six goals to lead Wave

Wave 21 Blast 17

Pro Soccer

December 02, 2006|By Jack McCarthy | Jack McCarthy,Special to the Sun

MILWAUKEE -- The Blast might have felt rested and ready after a two-week break, but the team couldn't find a way to stop Greg Howes yesterday.

The veteran Milwaukee Wave forward scored six goals - including a game-winner in the late going - to lead the Wave to a 21-17 Major Indoor Soccer League victory in the opener of a weekend home-and-home series.

"Obviously we didn't want him to have as many goals as he did," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "Leaving him in one-on-one situations is not what we want. We need some of our forwards to sag back and force him back and we need to do a better job on that [tonight]."

The Blast (3-2) also suffered through a 19-minute scoring drought that started just before halftime.

But Kelly said he detected considerable improvement in the second half despite the lack of scoring.

"In the second half of the game we played well," he said. "We did to them what they did to us in the first half: We kept possession of the ball, kept them on the floor and created opportunities."

Last night's match was the Blast's first since Nov. 17 and its first trip to Milwaukee since last year's league championship semifinals.

"As much as sometimes you appreciate [a] bye week, this early in the season you really don't want it because you're trying to find a rhythm as a team," Kelly said before the game.

In the first quarter, the Blast erased an early 4-0 Wave lead as forward Machel Millwood, midfielder Robbie Aristodemo and forward Tarik Walker each scored over a five-minute span for a 7-4 advantage.

Milwaukee scored three times in the second, including a power-play goal by Howes as the Wave reclaimed the lead at 10-7.

Blast defender Billy Nelson collected a three-point goal with 75 seconds left in the half to make it 10-10. The tie was short-lived, as Nelson was called for tripping with 47 seconds left, and Howes scored on a penalty kick to give the Wave a 12-10 halftime lead.

Howes picked up his fourth goal late in the third quarter when he took a feed from Johnny Torres and ran half the field to beat backup goalie Brian Rowland, temporarily in the net after a penalty on starter Sagu.

The Blast grabbed a 15-14 lead midway through the final quarter, but back-to-back goals from Marcella Fontana and Howes gave the Wave the lead for good at 18-15 with less than two minutes left.

Blast 7 3 0 7 - 17

Milwaukee 4 8 2 7 - 21

First quarter: Milwaukee: Howes (Fontana) 0:47; Milwaukee: Dombrowski (Gordon) 3:32; Blast: Milwood (unassisted), 4:43 (3 pt. goal); Blast: Aristodemo (Nelson) 6:23); Blast: Walker (Bascome) 9:34. Penalties: none. Second quarter: Milwaukee: Bullen (Olivero) 9:54; Milwaukee: Howes (unassisted) 12:26; Oliverio (Dusosky) 13:36; Blast: Nelson (unassisted) 13.45 (3 pt. goal); Milwaukee: Howes (unassisted PK) 14:15. Penalties: Blast: Celenza, 11:34; Nelson, 14:13. Third quarter: Milwaukee: Howes (Torres) 11:01. Penalties: Sagu, 7:04 . Fourth quarter: Blast: Regis (Steele) 8:40; Blast: Celenza (unassisted) 8:56, (3 pt. goal); Milwaukee: Fontana (Weisner) 11:19; Milwaukee: Howes (unassisted) 13:52; Blast: Garcia (Tschantret) 13:08; Milwaukee: Howes (Fontana) 14:53, (3pt. goal). Penalties: none A:3,112.

Tonight's game

Matchup -- Milwaukee Wave (2-3) @ Blast (2-2)

Site -- 1st Mariner Arena

Time -- 7:35

Radio -- WCBM (680 AM)

Season series -- Milwaukee leads 1-0

Outlook -- The first home-and-home series of the season concludes with the Blast as the host. Baltimore is 2-0 at the arena with victories over Chicago and Detroit. Lee Tschantret entered last night's game needing 10 points to become the 15th MISL player with 1,000 career points. G Brian Rowland might get his first start of the season in relief of Sagu. It is team photo night for the first 3,000 fans who enter.

Kent Baker

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