Tonight the Baltimore Blast, 5-1, take on the Missouri Comets,5-3. The Blast have rebounded from a home opening loss on November 12 and have gone on 5 game road winning streak to take a 2.5 game lead in the Eastern Division of the MISL. The Missouri Comets are 5-3 and are looking for a win to keep pace with the Central Division leading Milwaukee Wave. Although we are still early in the 2011-2012 MISL season this looks to be a big early season test and one the Blast need to win. Meanwhile the Comets are looking to avenge a loss earlier in the season to the Blast.
The Blast are lead this year once again by their Team Captain Sagu. As Goalie, Sagu was named the Goalkeeper of the Month. Sagu was also named MISL Player of the week for the third week of the season. The offense is getting a well balanced attack, with Blast forward Adauto Neto leading the way. With an attendance tonight of 5,924, the Blast and their fans are primed and ready to go.
The first 5 minutes of the 1st quarter have both teams with decent scoring chances but no goals. It feels as though both teams are just getting their feet under them. That changes quickly as Comets defender Ryan Junge scores a nice garbage goal at 9:26 in the first quarter. The Blast will try to tie the game up quickly. And they do. The Blast get a nice re-start set play from in front of the goal and Blast forward Max Ferdinand puts in the shot and ties the game at 2-2. The 1st quarter has shown how this entire game will play out. The Blast will control the play and the Comets will have a quick transition offense and try to score off of that. The quarter ends all tied at 2-2.
The first good scoring opportunity for the Blast happens when Blast forward Neto forces a defensive hand ball. The Blast get a good shot off but a little high. Moments later the Comets get a good opportunity but they miss as well. The Blast get a nice offensive push and forward Max Ferdinand scores his second goal of the night at 7:14 of the second quarter giving the Blast a 4-2 lead. The entire 2nd quarter turns into a physical game with lots of pushing and not much soccer action. The first half ended with the Blast holding onto a slim 4-2 lead.
Halftime at tonight’s game had a special Raven’s surprise. Raven rookie Wide Receiver and Maryland Terrapin Alum Torrey Smith caught passes from fans who won a raffle contest that took place in the second quarter. The crowd went nuts. Lots of Ravens fans at First Mariner tonight and several Ravens roosts have planted their flags all around the arena. Very fun.
The 3rd quarter starts and you can feel a lot of that Ravens momentum carry over onto the field and it’s supporting the Ravens. 2 minutes into the quarter Blast midfielder J.T. Noone gets a nice goal and extends the lead for the Blast to 6-2. Now that the place is starting the rock, the Blast start to play much better. On a great breakaway shot and goal Blast forward Max Ferdinand gets his 3rd goal of the game, hat trick time, and takes the lead for the Blast up to 8-2. At 8:33 of the quarter, the Comets commit a foul and the Blast get a penalty kick. Machel Millwood takes it and makes it. 10-2 Blast. That score last for several seconds and the Comets finally come alive and score to make it 10-4. This has turned out to be a very exciting, high scoring quarter. I will give all the credit to Raven Torrey Smith. The 3rd quarter ends with the Blast holding onto a 10-4 lead.
The 4th quarter is defined by some sloppy play on both sides and a great save by Sagu, again. Holding a team to 2 goals through 3 quarters in an MISL game is really difficult and Sagu makes it seem so easy. As the quarter goes forward the game starts to degenerate into a contest of how many fouls the Comets can commit. The answer is a lot and that type of physical play leads to a goal for the Comets with 5:56 left in the game. 10-6 Blast and the game is becoming interesting again. With 3:01 remaining the Comets get a 3 point goal and bring the game to a 10-9 score. It has turned into an ending that nobody here wanted as the Blast let the Comets back into the game. The Comets pull their goalie and the Blast ALMOST get an empty net goal with 1 minute to go in the game. They needed that as with 32 seconds remaining the Comets take the lead. Horrible. So the Blast pull their goalie as the Comets look to hold onto a 1 point lead with seconds remaining. The Blast can’t score and the Comets pull a late game heroic comeback and win 11-10. I feel like we just lost to the Steelers. The Blast are perfect this year on the road, 5-0, and winless at home, 0-2.
Tomorrow night the Blast take on the Syracuse Silver Knights at 7:35 at First Mariner Arena and tonight’s final is Comets over the Blast 11-10.