Here is the recap from WNST.net’s John West…
Blast Lose Season Opener 18-7 to Syracuse Silver Knights
The 2011-2012 MISL Baltimore Blast season has finally arrived and the Blast are looking to avenge their loss in last year’s MISL Championship Game and take back what is rightfully theirs which is the MISL Championship Trophy. Tonight is the Blast season and home opener against league new comer Syracuse Silver Knights. The First Mariner Arena always has a familiar feel to it (it’s been around since the Baltimore fire) but a Blast season opening game feels a little new and special. With a nice home opener crowd of 8, 078 there is a lot of excitement to start the season.
A big off-season story this year has been the expansion of the MISL. Last year the League had 5 teams. This season the MISL has grown to 8 teams, with Syracuse being one of the new teams to the league. It says a lot about how well the league is run and how much fun you can have at a game when, in this economy, your league can have that kind of impressive growth in one off-season.
For the second year in a row you can watch all Baltimore Blast games for free over the internet. You can go directly to misllivesoccer.com or go to the Baltimore Blast website and get the video from there. Either way it is an easy convenient way to follow the Blast this year when they are on the road or if you can’t make it downtown to the First Mariner Center for the home games.
The game got off to a bad start for the Blast as Syracuse Forward took a bad pass in the Blast defense and scored a goal less than 3 minutes into the game. Things continue to start tough for the Blast as Knights forward Andre Berenzon knocked in a great shot with 6:51 left in the first quarter. The Blast played well but had 2 early letdowns and the Knights took advantage of both of their scoring opportunities. The first quarter ends with the play about even but the Knights scoring on both their opportunities and has a 4-0 over the Blast.
The Blast start off the 2nd quarter with several really good scoring chances and cannot connect on any of them. Knights goalie Eric Reed is playing fantastic. Most of the possession time in this quarter is with the Blast, but they can’t seem to get any goals. There is a growing sense of frustration with the Blast that 1 goal could fix. With 4:37 left in the quarter the Knights commit a penalty, too many men on the field and the Blast get a 2 minute power play. That wasn’t enough to help as the Blast could only get a couple of average scoring chances during the penalty and couldn’t convert on any of them. Halftime score is Knights 4-0 lead over the Blast.
As the 3rd begins with hope and a lot of decent play by the Blast, that wasn’t nearly enough to stop the early onslaught by the Knights. Andre Berenzon scored a 3 point goal on a direct kick early in the quarter. The Blast respond by getting a 2 minute tripping penalty. Not the Blast’s finest effort. Not long into the penalty the Knights score again. With 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter the Knights have a big 9-0 lead over the Blast. Plenty of general sloppy play makes up the rest of the 3rd quarter until the Knights score again with 1 minute to go in the quarter. 11-0 Knights as I haven’t ever seen the Blast play this bad. It reminds me of the Ravens game against Jax earlier in the year. Just ugly and unexpected. 3rd quarter ends with the Knights leading 11-0.
The Knights get another goal and go ahead 13-0. Seconds after that goal the Blast get their first goal of the year. Blast forward Max Ferdinand scores an unassisted goal and the Blast are down 13-3 with 12 minutes to go in the game. 2 minutes later and the Blast score again. Mike Lookingland score on a set play and gets the score to 13-5 with 10 minutes to play. With 5:16 Carlos Garcia scored and brought the score to 13-7 Knights. The stadium is really make some noise as the fans are starting to think this could be a great comeback. With 3:36 to play the Blast pull their goalie and put in defender Mike Lookingland. Essentially this is a 1 man advantage the rest of the game. That of course leaves an empty net and the Knights got a 3 point goal with 1 minute to go. That was followed up with another empty net goal with 9 seconds to go. Final score is 18-7 Syracuse Silver Knights over the Baltimore Blast.
Overall the play of the Blast was a little slow and lethargic. A sloppy game and a resounding loss to the Knights. The Blast have all season to rebound from this opening night loss and I hope they do.