2012 MISL Championship Series:
Blast vs. Milwaukee Wave
One – Friday, March 16, 1st Mariner Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Two – Sunday, March 18, U.S. Cellular Arena, 4 p.m. Eastern Time
18-6, Eastern Division Regular Season Champions, Swept the Rochester Lancers to
18-6, CentralDivision Regular Season Champions, Swept the Missouri Comets to
Rivalry: Blast vs. Wave
The 2011-12 season marks the 20th anniversary of the Blast vs. Wave rivalry, the
most storied rivalry in the MISL, which dates back to the 1992-93 season. The
teams have squared off 76 times in the regular season and 14 times in the
postseason and the rivalry has intensified with every game, every goal and
every victory. From the start of the 2011-12 season, both teams have been
gearing up for this series, for both teams, a continuation of the rivalry; for
the Blast, a chance to avenge last season’s Championship Game loss to the Wave.
The Wave lead the all-time regular-season series 46-30 and the Blast hold the
postseason edge, 9-4. Since the 2002-03 season, the road to the Championship
has gone through the Blast and Wave five times and the teams have combined to
win 10 of the last 14 league championships (each team has five titles in that
time period). 2012 is be Baltimore’s fifth-consecutive postseason appearance
and the 16th trip to the playoffs in 20 years.
The Blast and Wave, similar in their winning ways, led the MISL in goals for and
goals against during the regular season with the Wave scoring the most goals
(169) and the Blast allowing the fewest goals (108). The Blast was second with
165 goals and the Wave allowed the second-fewest goals throughout the season
Max Ferdinand, a First-Team All-MISL selection and the MISL Assists award winner, led the Blast with 72 points. Machel Millwood, a Second-Team All-MISL selection, followed with (70 points) as did Adauto Neto (49) and Carlos Garcia (48).
In goal, Sagu went 15-5 in the regular season and 2-0 in the Eastern
Division Finals en route to his second-consecutive MISL Goalkeeper of the Year
honor. The team featured eight new players, five of whom were new to the indoor
game. Veterans Ricardinho (five goals, five assists), Ptah Myers (four goals,
three assists) and Shaun David (10 goals, seven assists) joined the Blast this season after
spending previous years with a variety of other squads. Rookies Stephen DeRoux
(an All-Rookie selection with 10 goals and one assist), J.T. Noone (14 goals,
three assists), and Mike Deasel (14 points, five blocks) all made their way
into the lineup and made an immediate impact on the team.
The Wave, like the Blast, went 18-6 overall in the regular season (8-4 on the
road), finishing the regular season atop the Central Division. The team was led
by veteran Greg Howes who recorded 61 regular season points and tied to rank
seventh in the MISL in scoring. Marcio Leite and Ian Bennett followed with 55
points and 54 points, respectively. Goalkeepers Marcel Feenstra and Nick
Vorberg split time manning the Wave nets, with Feenstra earning an 11-2 record
and Vorberg going 7-3.
Marco Terminesi led the Wave with eight points (four per game) in the Central
Division Finals and Giuliano Oliviero, Hewerton Moreira and Even McNeley each
recorded six points. Feenstra earned the win in goal for both games but Howes
missed the series with a back injury.
If the Blast and Wave each win a game in the series, they will play a 15-minute
mini game to decide the 2012 MISL Champion.
Game 1 begins with the play you should expect from a Championship game. Both the Blast and the Wave have a couple of good scoring opportunities early but could not capitalize. At the 7:10 mark in the quarter the Wave get a nice breakaway and forward Nick Perera puts in a
long 3 point goal to give the Wave an early lead. The Wave keep the pressure up and beat Blast
goalie Sagu 2 more times, only to be saved by the post. Those opportunities missed by the Wave are immediately picked up by the Blast and turned into scoring chances that they
miss, lots of them. The quarter ends with the Blast getting 9 shots to the Wave only getting 3, but the Wave have a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter starts and with 13:25 Blast forward Machel Millwood hits a
beautiful pass to Ricardinho and the Blast get a 2 point goal. 3-2 Wave early in the quarter and the Blast are finally on the scoreboard. He Blast keep a lot of pressure in the Wave end and struggle to get a goal. As this quarter plays on it strikes me that these are clearly the best 2 teams in the
league, again. The Wave are the only team that can play as physical and as fast as the Blast. The Blast are having a real hard time dealing with the high quality of play from the Wave.
The score is 3-2 midway through the second quarter and the game is
really that close. With 4:50 left to go in the quarter the Blast had a nice scoring chance and missed. The Wave forward Marcio Leite took off and got a breakaway goal to put the Wave up 5-2.
This was a great goal. 3 minutes later the Wave score again on a restart and go up 7-2 with 2 minutes left in the half and that is the halftime score. This was a great half of soccer with the Wave taking advantage of their scoring opportunities at the end of the quarter.
The 3rd quarter starts off with both teams committing yellow card fouls
and sending someone each into the penalty box, 5 minutes each for severe
unsportsmanlike manner. It appears that the refs are trying to stay ahead of this from getting out of control. The quarter continues with lots of spirited up and down the field play but no scoring.
With 6:30 to go Wave forward Marcio Leite scores his third goal of the night to put the Wave up 9-2. Seconds later the Wave score again and its 11-2 Wave. The Blast call a timeout to try to put a stop to this game getting out of control, but that might be too late. These last 30 seconds have really taken this entire crowd of 6,072 out of the game and you have to hope the Blast can get a quick goal here. They cannot and the Wave hold a strong 11-2 lead as the third quarter ends.
The final quarter is a whole lot of the same. With 8 minutes left in the game and the score still 11-2 Wave, the Blast pull their goalie to go up a man. They continue to dominate play and get good shots, but they cannot score. The Wave have missed several long empty nets shots and this doesn’t look good. The game ends with the Wave putting in one final goal and its 14-2 Wave.
Sunday is game 2 and the Blast need to win and then win in the final shootout. It will be tough, but the Blast can do it.