MISL Championship Series
Without star goalie Vanzela, Blast routed in Game 1 by Comets
The defending champion Blast scored the first four points of the game but squandered the lead and lost to the host Missouri Comets, 15-8, in the first game of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship Friday night. The Comets set an MISL playoff record with five 3-point goals, and Missouri captain Vahid Assadpour set an individual MISL playoff record with three 3-pointers in front of an announced 4,524 at Independence Events Center. Baltimore played without MISL Goalkeeper of the Year William Vanzela. Blast forward T.J. Noone had a hat trick, but midfielder Assadpour matched him with three goals to lead the league's best offense to 15 unanswered points. The Comets, who scored 329 goals in the regular season compared with the Blast's 309, went 0-2 against the Blast in the regular season. The Blast will host Game 2 on Sunday. If Baltimore wins, the teams would play a 15-minute tiebreaking minigame to decide the champion. The Blast took a 4-0 lead on goals by Noone and midfielder Max Ferdinand. Noone's goal, on a volley, came off an assist by midfielder Tony Donatelli, and Ferdinand's was unassisted. However, the Comets scored shortly afterward, when Assadpour converted from long range to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 6:54 left in the first quarter. The game became chippy in the second quarter, as no goals were scored but two yellow cards were shown. Tensions escalated when Blast forward Adriano Dos Santos hit Comets midfielder John Sosa on the head, and Sosa responded by pushing Dos Santos to the ground. Both received cards and were later ejected. Assadpour hit the upper-right corner of the goal from 3-point range to make it 6-4 just under four minutes into the third quarter. Less than a minute later, forward Stefan St. Louis made it 9-4 when his shot deflected off the leg of a defender and eluded goalie Troy Hernandez . William Vanzela In the fourth quarter, the Blast had chances to pull closer on penalty kicks from short range but could not convert. Instead, the Comets increased their lead to 12-4 off another 3-point goal by Assadpour with less than 10 minutes left. Defender Brian Harris added an empty-net goal for the Comets to extend the lead to 15-4. Noone scored two goals in the last 90 seconds to make it 15-8 before the final whistle.
Steady N Love favored in today's Caesar's Wish Stakes
Another winner from her most recent start is Tupancy Links (3-1), who beat optional claimers on February 1 under Horacio Karamanos. Previously the daughter of Kodiak Kowboy finished second in the Gin Talking Stakes. Vernon Allison is her trainer. Four fillies were supplemented to the Caesar's Wish: New Zone (4-1), who finished third in the Wide Country, Fibber and Molly (20-1), Aviddiva (30-1) and Sollie Go Nee Nee (30-1). In her last start, the Gary Capuano trainee scored by 203/4 lengths as the overwhelming favorite against optional claiming foes on Feb. 17. Victor Carrasco has been aboard for her past two starts. "She is getting better and is a nice improving filly who tries every time which is all you can ask for," Capuano said. "Obviously her last race she was in the right kind of field and ran to it. The race before that she ran against Taris, who is a very nice filly. We got into some trouble around the far turn but made up some distance and ran a really good second. We were happy with that effort." Capuano runners have finished in the money 18 times in 21 starts at Laurel Park this year. Brown Rice (5-1) won on the last day of 2013 over optional claimers, beating Steady N Love by a length and three-quarters. The Big Brown filly hasn't started since. Sheldon Russell picks up the mount for trainer Ferris Allen.
AACS hires former Bowie State football coach Lynn
Former Bowie State coach Michael Lynn was named football coach at Annapolis Area Christian School. Lynn, a Morgan State graduate, coached the Bulldogs to a 26-25 record between 2004 and 2008. They finished 8-4 in 2005 and made their first bowl appearance in 36 years, falling to Tuskegee, 28-26, in the Pioneer Bowl. Since then, Lynn served as football team coordinator at Maryland for two years and director of football operations at Morgan State for two years. Last fall, he was an assistant coach at Dunbar. An offensive lineman at Morgan, Lynn was also an assistant coach at Morgan for five years.
More football: The Baltimore Touchdown Club has announced its Super 22 Team, 55 of the area's top junior high school football players based on athletic and academic performance as nominated by their coaches. The players will be presented to college coaches at the 17th annual Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 Banquet-Showcase on May 20 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. Maryland coach Randy Edsall is keynote speaker.