The new-look Baltimore Blast opened the 2007-08 campaign with an 8-2 victory this evening at the 1st Mariner Arena. The Blast opened up slow and the Kixx took full advantage with solid possession the first four minutes of the quarter. This dominating possession led to the first goal of the game. The goal was scored by Chris Williams and assisted by John Barry Nusum. The Blast equalized at the 10:24 mark of the first quarter on a beautiful indoor header goal from new addition Michael Todd assisted by Michael Lookingland. The Blast picked up it’s intensity and Kixx keeper Peter Pappas made two excellent saves to keep the score level.
Period #2 saw some open play but no real chances on goal. The Blast had several free kick opportunities but failed to convert any of those chances. The score at halftime was 2-2.
Period #3 saw PJ Wakefield and Billy Nelson both miss excellent scoring chances. Robbie Aristodemo saved one off the line as Sagu had been beaten at the 7 minute mark. Rey Martinez assisted on the next Blast goal to David Bascome at the 7:40 mark of the third period. Peter Pappas then made two incredible saves at the 10 and 12 minute mark respectively. Then the back breaker goal as Rey Martinez scored and was dumped by Peter Pappas for a two minute penalty that was waived because the goal was scored. The assist on the Rey Martinez goal was from Giuliano Celenza at 14:54.
Period #4 resulted in the Blast wearing down the Kixx and the second goal from newcomer Michael Todd assisted by Robbie Aristodemo at the 4:05 mark. That’s not a bad way for Mr. Todd to make his MISL debut. The Kixx and Blast both went scoreless the rest of the way. The Blast held the Kixx scoreless for the final 55 minutes of play.
Tonight’s crowd was disappointing to me. I had heard rumors of a near sellout and it was not even close. Maybe it’s the mid-October start date. After all it still feels like August outside.
The man of the match was #14 Michael Todd. If the Blast can continue this style of play they will have a very good year. They had solid contributions from newcomers Michael Todd, Ryan Pierce and Scott Buete. The defense was solid and Sagu was the good Sagu tonight. I will say Philadelphia is not the same team as last year and not having Ginoni Martinez now with Monterrey La Ra Za really showed tonight. Next up for the Blast is old rival the Milwaukee Wave who make their first appearance in Baltimore next Saturday at 7:45 p.m.