Tonight the Baltimore Blast take on the Missouri Comets at First Mariner Arena. The 5-3 Blast sit in first place of the Eastern Division with 1.5 game lead over Syracuse. The 7-3 Comets are 1 game behind the undefeated Milwaukee Wave, 6-0, in the MISL Central Division. The Blast look to end a very difficult streak to explain tonight which is a season long losing streak at home. The home crowd tonight of 4,081 is looking to help the Blast end that streak and stay in first place.
In a bitter sweet story this is the last game for Blast forward Matt Watson. Matt has been given his release so that he can keep his soccer career going forward and play with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the Major League Soccer league. Matt has been a valuable Blast for 5 seasons and a member of several Blast Championship teams and it is a shame to see him leave. However he is moving forward with his soccer career and we wish him the best.
A little over 1 minute into the game the Missouri Comets made a terrible defensive mental and physical lapse and Blast Forward Shaun David was there to put away the mistake for an early 2-0 lead. What a great way to start the game. The Comets keep up the mental mistakes by committing a penalty with 10 minutes to go in the first quarter, too many men on the field. The Blast thank the Comets 22 seconds later by scoring a goal on their first shot of the penalty. Blast forward Neto scored the goal by putting it through the goalies legs. The Blast commits a holding penalty with 7 minutes to go in the quarter and the Comets are looking to get on the board. The Comets get several good scoring chances but are unable to capitalize on any of them and the score remains 4-0 at the end of the Blast penalty. The rest of the first quarter finishes out with good steady play from both teams but no scoring and the quarter ends with the Blast ahead 4-0.
The only thing I can say about most of the second quarter is that it was played. It was pretty boring stuff without many shots on goal or general action to speak off. The Blast had possession most of the quarter but couldn’t get any good scoring chances. With 2:33 left in the quarter the Comets finally show a little life. After a restart the Comets put a nice shot on goal and beat Sagu in the corner to bring the score to 4-2. 40 seconds later the Comets tie the game off a nice crossing pass. 4-4 just like that, for 9 seconds. That’s right, Blast forward Machel Millwood scores 9 seconds later and the score is 6-4 Blast. All that boring play and in minutes worth of time we have 3 goals. And that’s how we end the half, with the Blast holding a slim 6-4 lead.
Another slow start to a quarter as both teams continue to play a little conservative. As with most indoor soccer goals the play happens very fast. With 5 minutes gone in the quarter Blast forward Carlos Garcia takes a nice crossing pass from Pat Healey and scores to put the Blast back ahead by 2 goals at 8-4. At 8:55 of the third quarter the Comets commit a hand penalty at midfield and the Blast go on their second power play of the night. And they do it again. Blast forward Carlos Garcia scores on a great junk goal after the Comets goalie stopped a rocket of a shot from Mike Lookingland. I hope the Blast haven’t forgotten last week’s loss to the Comets, when they had a 10-4 lead in that game with less than 6 minutes to go in the game. With 3:30 minutes to go in the quarter Blast forward gets called for a striking penalty. Comets go on a 2 minute power play. They don’t need that much time to score. A shot went off the back wall and Comets forward Leo Gibson was there to put in the rebound. 10-6 Blast. Right before the quarter ends the Blast get another penalty for kicking. Most of that will take place in the fourth quarter as the third quarter ends with the Blast still ahead 10-6.
Comets start the fourth quarter with a man advantage for 1:50. The Blast will have to play some solid defense to keep a 2 goal lead. And they do it. We are at even strength with 12 minutes to go and a 10-6 Blast lead. With 8:30 left in the game Blast forward Neto tries to put the game out of reach by scoring an unassisted goal to make the score 12-6. With 4:06 left in the game the Comets pull their goalie. It works. The Comets get a 3 point goal with 2 minutes to go in the game and the score is 12-9 Blast. As the Comets continue to pull their goalie, the Blast get 2 goals within 30 seconds and take a 17-9 lead with 45 seconds left in the game. This game has a much better ending than last weeks final seconds loss to the Comets. The final score is Blast 17-9 victory and they go to 6-3 on the season.