BALTIMORE – In the 2011-12 home opener in Baltimore, the Syracuse Silver Knights beat the Baltimore Blast 18-7 to take their third consecutive victory to open the MISL season. In front of 8,078 fans at 1st Mariner Arena, Alex Megson scored a hat trick to lead the Silver Knights, who traveled to Baltimore after defeating the Norfolk SharX, 23-7, on Friday night.
Megson and Andre Berenzon both scored in the first quarter to put the Silver Knights on top early, but then the teams played almost 22 scoreless minutes to end the first half with the Silver Knights still on top, 4-0. The Blast outshot the Silver Knights 16-6 in the first half but were unable to get past the Syracuse defense and goalkeeper Eric Reed.
Berenzon scored his second goal of the night, a 3-pointer at 4:37, to extend Syracuse's lead to 7-0 and then assisted on Megson’s second, on a Silver Knights power play, to make it 9-0. Slavisa Ubiparipovic added a goal late in the quarter to make it 11-0.
The Silver Knights’ Jeff Hughes scored at the 1:21 mark of the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 13-0 before the Blast finally got on the board through forward Max Ferdinand, answered with a 3-point goal 55 seconds later to end Baltimore's almost 47-minute scoring drought. Defender Mike Lookingland added a goal two minutes later to cut Syracuse's lead to 13-5 and Carlos Garcia cut the deficit to 13-7 at the 9:44 mark as the Blast got back into the game, but the rally came to an end with less than two minutes to play when Danny Hall and Megson both scored into an empty net as Baltimore went to six attackers to clinch the 18-7 victory.
The Blast are 13-7 in season openers since the 1992-93 season and last lost an opener to start the 2009-10 season, when they fell 10-8 Rockford in overtime.
For the first time in recent history, the Blast took the field with numerous new players, after having lost several player to retirement and various other player personnel changes. With Danny Kelly and David Bascome still at the helm, the team fields seven new players, most notably former Philadelphia KiXX defender Ptah Myers. Myers, an eight-year veteran, spent last season with the Chicago Riot. Machel Millwood, Mike Lookingland, Max Ferdinand, Matt Watson, Warren Ukah, Carlos Garcia and Scott Buete are also returning to the Blast lineup and goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, defenders Stephen DeRoux and Mike Deasel and midfielders Nicki Paterson and J.T. Noone are among the newcomers. Forward Adriano Dos Santos, who played for the Blast in 2009-10, is back in Baltimore as well.
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Blast home games will be available via live webcast at www.baltimoreblast.com (scroll down and click the Watch Live button on the right) and MISLlivesoccer.