BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Blast scored four second half goals to claim an 8-6 victory against the Missouri Comets in Game 2 of the MISL Championship Series on Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena, giving the Blast a 2-0 series victory and their seventh MISL Championship. Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela claimed Most Valuable Player honors for the series, as he finished with 30 saves in two games to key Baltimore’s pair of victories.
The Blast trailed Missouri 4-0 at the halftime break, with Byron Alvarez scoring both goals for the Comets and Danny Waltman making eight saves to keep Baltimore off the scoreboard. The Blast finally broke through three minutes, 44 seconds into the third, as Max Ferdinand scored a spectacular power play goal to reduce the deficit to two. Baltimore then drew even, again on the power play, as Tony Donatelli stole in to score his fourth goal of the series, firing home a low cross by Ferdinand to make it 4-4 at the end of the third quarter.
Baltimore took its first lead of the night four minutes into the fourth quarter, Adriano Dos Santos finding the back of the net, and the Blast were able to bolster their lead with a spectacular bicycle kick finish by All-Rookie Team selection Lucas Roque as he controlled his effort after a shot off the end boards by Chris Williams.
Missouri kept its hopes of forcing overtime, and potentially a Game 3 mini-game alive with 5:39 to play as Alvarez completed his hat trick. The Blast’s defense, led by MISL Defender of the Year Mike Lookingland, limited their opportunities in the final five minutes, however, and Vanzela finished with 12 saves as Baltimore claimed its first title since 2009.
After falling 21-12 on Thursday night, Missouri had got off to an ideal start. Following a tense opening, the Comets finally took the lead with 5:02 to play in the first quarter as they caught the Blast on a counter-attack, Alvarez finishing from the left after being found by Cristiano as Missouri held a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Missouri goalkeeper Danny Waltman then had a standout second quarter, keeping the Blast off the board with a number of outstanding saves. The Comets were also able to double their lead, with Byron Alvarez converting a shootout opportunity after Robert Palmer had been brought down on a breakaway by Ferdinand.