Wave tops Blast, 12-10 in overtime, to claim MISL crown

Milwaukee finishes 2-0 sweep for repeat title

March 19, 2012|The Sports Xchange

Milwaukee — — Milwaukee Wave coach Keith Tozer knows it's hard to win back-to-back championships, let alone get to play in one.

He took much delight in getting soaked in champagne and jumping up and down with his team in the locker room after Joe Hammes' goal 46 seconds into overtime gave the Wave a 12-10 victory against the Blast on Sunday in the second and final game of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship series at U.S. Cellular Arena.

"I've been saying it all year — it's tough to get into a final," Tozer said. "It's tough to get into a final and win a final. It's quadruple [tough] to get into a final the year after you won, especially in modern-day sports, and win again. For us to do it back-to-back, it's just incredible. These guys are unbelievable guys."

On a restart, Marco Terminesi passed the ball from the penalty dot to his left. That's where Hammes was waiting, and he fired a shot past Sagu, the league's Goalkeeper of the Year.

"I was going to pass it if the defender stepped out, but I saw a lane and hit it far post," Hammes said. "I was trying to keep it on frame, and I was fortunate enough to hit the back of the net."

Hammes immediately sprinted across the field in celebration and ended up in the other net, mobbed by teammates as confetti and streamers rained down.

"My family always sits above that net," Hammes said. "I might as well finish off with a full-field sprint to the family. At that point, I didn't know what to do I was so excited."

Blast coach Danny Kelly was searching for answers after the game.

"You try to not give them those types of situations," Kelly said. "You can't have two guys flying to the ball, and you've got to know what your responsibilities are. You've got to give them credit. They executed. It was a perfectly executed free kick."

It was the sixth league title for Milwaukee, which won the series 2-0. The Wave, which won Game 1, 14-2, in Baltimore on Friday, claimed back-to-back crowns for the first time since 2000-2001.

The Blast, which also lost to Milwaukee in the championship last season, was seeking its first title since 2009.

Marcio Leite's second goal of the game tied the score at 10 with 9:26 to play in the fourth. It was a give-and-go on the power play from Giuliano Oliviero in the right corner to Leite, who fired the ball between the legs of Sagu.

Milwaukee scored all three third-quarter goals, with the final one coming from Ian Bennett for his team's first lead, 8-6, with 31 seconds remaining. He took a long pass from goalkeeper Marcel Feenstra and had the ball against the back wall to the left of the Blast net. With two defenders and a teammate next to him, Bennett was able to bounce the ball into the net off the left arm of Sagu.

The Blast tied the score at 8 when Ricardinho scored his second goal of the game on a rebound from about 10 feet out with 13:17 left.

The Blast took a 10-8 lead with 12:16 to play on a penalty kick. Milwaukee's J.P. Rodrigues was called for tripping, and Machel Millwood responded with a penalty kick that went straight into the net as Feenstra dived to his left.

NOTES: Hammes needed stitches on his left arm after scraping it on the turf. He missed the final 1:49 of the first quarter but returned for the second.period. ... Wave leading scorer Greg Howes did not play. Howes, who had 61 points in the regular season, missed all of the playoffs with an injured back. The Blast's Stephen DeRoux picked up two blue cards in the first half. ... Max Ferdinand of the Blast finished with a game-high six shots but did not score.

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