Pro Soccer

Long scoring drought sinks Blast

Ignition 11 Blast 4

December 01, 2007|By Jeff Arnold | Jeff Arnold,Special to The Sun

PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- For 47 frustratingly fruitless minutes last night, the Blast tried to find its goal-scoring groove.

But as time wore on, shot attempt after shot attempt missed its mark, clanking off the post or sailing high.

During the Blast's scoring drought, the Detroit Ignition took advantage of defensive miscues, turning an early two-goal deficit into an 11-4 win at Compuware Arena, ending Baltimore's five-game winning streak.

Mike Apple's third-quarter power-play goal broke a 4-4 tie before Matt Johnson's three-point goal and Ryan Mack's empty-netter capped Detroit's fifth win in its past six meetings with the Blast.

"Again, we caused a lot of our own problems," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "Defensively, we weren't as good as we could have been, and I think that's what hurt us."

The Blast (5-1) took a quick 4-0 lead, using a penalty kick by Denison Cabral before Rey Martinez ricocheted a shot off a Detroit defender that found its way into the back of the net with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter.

But after Droo Callihan and Apple registered back-to-back goals for the Ignition (4-1) during the first 7:02 of the second quarter, the Blast was back at square one.

Despite being outshot 38-14, the Blast remained within striking distance, using 13 saves by Sagu, who was peppered with shots all night.

The Blast didn't score again until the third quarter, when it was forced to fend off a Detroit power play in the final two minutes. But the Ignition made the most of the one-man advantage when Apple scored for the second time, giving Detroit a 6-4 lead entering the final 15 minutes.

"I thought we were OK at that point," Kelly said.

But after Johnson's three-point goal extended Detroit's lead to 9-4, Kelly pulled Sagu to gain an extra attacker with hopes of bolstering the Blast's scoring chances.

But the offense the Blast needed never materialized, and the Ignition turned two of its five fourth-quarter chances into goals.

"We had our chances; we just couldn't finish," Kelly said. "Hopefully, we learned a little bit of a lesson tonight that if you don't pay attention to details and you don't mark up and you're not tight defensively, you're not going to give yourself an opportunity to win the game."

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