The Eastern Division-leading Baltimore Blast will host the Norfolk SharX tomorrow night in a rematch of last week’s 17-12 SharX victory over the Blast in Norfolk. Tomorrow is also the second of four games between the Blast and SharX in 20 days. The SharX come to Baltimore on a two-game win streak after having defeated the Blast and the Silver Knights last week.
The Blast is led by Machel Millwood (37 points), Adauto Neto (36 points) and Max Ferdinand (35 points) while goalkeeper Sagu is 9-3 on the season and Akira Fitzgerald is 1-1.
The SharX, one of the four new MISL teams, started the season 0-9 before beating the Rochester Lancers, 18-16 on December 29, for their first MISL win. The SharX are led by Miguel Ferrer (27 points) and Gersen Dos Santos (26 points). Goalkeeper Jamie Lieberman, this week’s MISL Player of the Week, is 2-0 on the season. Tonights crowd of 4,718 is expecting another win for the Blast.
Play begins and it is dictated by the Blast. Lots of possession and several good scoring opportunities and it’s still 0-0 half way through the quarter. With 7:30 left in the quarter Blast forward Ricardinho gets his first goal with the Blast and they take an early 2-0 lead over the SharX. With 2:13 left in the quarter Blast forward Pat Healey scores his 7th goal of the year and puts the Blast ahead 4-0. A minute later the Blast have some sloppy play in their own defense and the SharX take advantage and score to make it 4-2 Blast. That’s the way the first quarter end with the Blast ahead 4-2.
The second quarter starts and the Blast commit a 2 minute penalty for a hand ball in midfield. The SharX will be looking to tie the game during this penalty. The SharX can barely get any good scoring opportunities and cannot score on any of them. This lack of a goal almost immediately hurts the SharX. With 9:16 left in the quarter Blast forward Max Ferdinand takes a set play opportunity and scores to make the score 6-2 Blast. The combination of Machel Millwood from Max Ferdinand do it again and the Blast extend their lead to 8-2 with 4:45 left in the quarter. With 1:12 left in the half Blast forward Warren Ukah takes the pass at the top of the box, turns and rifles in the best goal of the night. Its 10-2 Blast and that’s how the half ends. The Blast have had the better of the play all night and have to be careful about a second half letdown.
The Blast and SharX played the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, it’s just that I don’t remember any of it. Pretty pedestrian stuff. With 5 minutes left in the quarter Blast forward Max Ferdinand scores and the lead goes up to 12-2. The third quarter ends at 12-2. The SharX had 1 shot that quarter. That was like watching the first 50 minutes of most Denver Broncos games this year….boring.
The Blast start the scoring with 10:20 left in the quarter. Blast Forward Warren Ukah scores a goal even prettier than his first. Warren Ukah is having the game of his life tonight for the Blast. Most of this final quarter is just like the third, lots of Blast possession and everyone watching the clock tick down. Its great when you have a huge lead. The Blast add to that lead with 6:44 left in the game. Neto scores and puts the score to 16-2. The only thing left is to see if the SharX get dirty. With 1:10 left in the game Blast forward Max Ferdinand gets his hat trick. Blast win 18-2 in a game they completely dominated all game long. Frankly the game wasn’t that close.