The Baltimore Blast defeated the Rockford Rampage, 13-10, to win the 2009 NISL Championship Game Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena. Led by Championship MVP Sagu, the Blast has now won five of the last seven League Titles (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009).
Rockford’s Gary Brooks scored in the 48th second of the match to give the Rampage an early 2-0 lead but Blast team captain PJ Wakefield answered with a three-point goal to give the Blast a 3-2 lead. Jorge Valle scored the next goal, to put the Rampage on top, 4-3, but Matt Watson answered to regain the Blast lead, 5-4.
Machel Millwood extended Baltimore’s lead to 7-4 before Geison Moura scored to cut the Blast lead to 7-6 at 6:30 of the second quarter. Rockford goalkeeper Sanaldo was called for a two-minute tripping penalty in the eighth minute and, with Gary Brooks in goal, Denison Cabral converted the shootout attempt to put the Blast on top, 9-6. With just 30 seconds remaining in the first half, Matthew Stewart scored to but Baltimore’s lead to 9-8.
Carlos Garcia scored the only goal of the third quarter to give the Blast an 11-8 lead.
All-NISL Rookie Adrian Bumbut scored 38 seconds into the final quarter to put the Blast on top, 13-8. Fred Degand narrowed the gap to 13-10 with less than six minutes remaining in the game but the Blast held on for the 13-10 victory.
Former teammates Sagu and Sanaldo played against each other in the nets; Sanaldo won a Championship in Baltimore in 2006 and Sagu has been on the Blast’s 2006 and 2008 Championship teams. Sagu stopped 13 of the 18 shots he faced.
The Rampage defeated the Monterrey La RaZa in the Semifinals to advance to the Championship Game.
Rockford defeated Monterrey, two-games-to-one.
Game One – Monterrey defeated Rockford, 16-13
Game Two – Rockford defeated Monterrey, 9-6
Golden Goal Game – Rockford defeated Monterrey, 2-0