LIVE BLOG FROM BALTIMORE’S FIRST MARINER ARENA:
It’s Championship Night here at 1st Mariner Arena and the almost packed house of 10,274 Blast fans is buzzing with electricity. Your Baltimore Blast, 15-5, take on the Milwaukee Wave, 15-5 for the MISL 2010-2011 Season Title tonight. This is also the final game for 11 year Blast veteran forward Guilino Celenza, who is retiring after tonight’s game. The Blast were 3-2 against the Wave this year and are looking for their 6th Championship in 11 years.
The Blast have collected some awards this season. Head Coach Danny Kelly was named the MISL Coach of the year. Goalkeeper Sagu was named the Goalkeeper of the year. Blast Defender Pat Morris was named the Defender of the year. A win tonight would clinch a fabulous season in a long line of great seasons for your Baltimore Blast.
The game started fast for the Wave. Less than 1 minute in Wave defender Jonathan Greenfield had and early shot that got under Sagu for an 2-0 lead. The 1st quarter turned into an up and down, fast moving lots of shots very exciting 1st quarter where the shots by both teams were just missing. This turned out to be one of the most exciting quarters I have seen all year. With 1 minute to go, Wave defender Ian Bennett scored on a nice break away to put the Wave ahead 4-0. The quarter ended with the Wave ahead 4-0. Bad outcome but that was one heck of a quarter of soccer.
The 2nd quarter started with a bang. The Wave beat Sagu, but hit the inside of the crossbar. NO GOAL. Seconds later Blast forward Lucia Gonzaga took a great pass by Machel Millwood and scored the first goal of the night for the Blast. 4-2 with a lot of action all up and down the field. At the 3:29 minute of the quarter, Blast defender Mike Lookingland scores an exciting goal to tie the game 4-4. 1st Mariner erupts at the goal and the Wave are forced to take a time out. After the timeout, the action stays heated. At the 7:54 mark of the quarter, the Wave send in a cross that goes off the back foot of a Blast defender. Horrible goal but they count and its Wave 7-4 with 7 minutes to go until halftime. Then, at the 11:27 a fight broke out. Lots of severe unsportsmanship going on. 1 Wave player hit a defenseless Robbie Aristodemo, who was on the ground. 2 Blast players get 5 minutes for fighting and 1 Wave player gets 5 minutes for the same. The game is still 5 on 5. This game has gone from fast and chippy to fast and dirty. I blame the Wave!!! The rest of the half continues the great play of Wave goalie Marcel Feenstra. He was the first half MVP and the halftime score was Wave 7-4 over the Blast. That was a tremendous half of indoor soccer.
The 3rd quarter was everything the 1st half was not. Not much action and somewhat boring play. That was until the 7 minute mark when Wave midfielder took a restart and made a great goal on a long outside shot. The score went to 10-4
Wave just like that. The Blast have really struggled this 3rd quarter. As the 3rd quarter ends with the Wave ahead 10-4, the number of shots tells a different story. The Blast have a 25-8 shot lead, but the score is Wave 10-4. Go figure.
The 4th quarter looks just like the 3rd. Wave goalie won’t let anything in and the Wave get on the board first. At the 3:37 mark Wave forward Greg Howes gets a nice follow up goal and puts the Wave ahead 12-4. I get the feeling this is going to get ugly, and it does. The Wave commit a 2 minute tripping penalty and the Blast go on a power play. Again and again tonight the Wave goalie has made fantastic saves, and he does it several more times during the power play. There is no question that Wave goalie Marcel Feenstra is playing the best game I’ve seen all year long. Absolutely tremendous play from the Wave goalie. As I type this, Marcel makes his best save of the night, which leads to a Wave fast break goal to extend the lead to Wave 14-4 with 7 minutes to go. With 6 minutes to go, Blast forward Pat Morris has a great 3 point goal and brings the lead down to 14-7. The Blast pull their goalie and get the better of the play, but can’t get another shot past the Wave goalie. Then, with 1 minute to go in the game, the Wave score on a breakaway and take a 16-7 lead. One small fight later, started by the Wave, and this game is over. The Milwaukee Wave are the 2010-2011 MISL Champions.
The 2010-2011 MISL season is over and the Baltimore Blast loss in the MISL Championship game. It was a tough loss and a bad way to end and otherwise great season.