On a night that saw 13 goals, six penalties and a saved shootout attempt, the Blast defeated the Norfolk SharX, 18-10, in front of 5,764 fans at 1st Mariner Arena. With Akira Fitzgerald in goal, Mike Lookingland, Machel Millwood and J.T. Noone scored two goals each to lead Baltimore to its 12th overall win and fifth home win.
Carloas Garcia, Millwood and Noone scored in the first quarter to give the Blast an early 6-0 lead and Lookingland added a second-quarter goal to extend the lead to 8-0 before the SharX got on the scoreboard. Matthew Delicate scored Norfolk's first goal of the night to cut the Blast lead to 8-2 but Max Ferdinand scored next to put Baltimore on top 10-2.
The SharX scored the next two goals, the first a Miguel Ferrer three-point power play goal, to cut the Blast lead to 10-7 midway through the second quarter. Inspired by Norfolk's comeback, Noone, Adauto Neto and Millwood knocked in the next three goals to extend the Blast lead to 16-7.
After three quarters with no penalties, the action heated up in the final quarter as each team was assessed three two-minute penalties. At the 3:15 mark Norfolk's Andrew Marshall was called for pushing and Baltimore's Fitzgerald was called for a handball outside the box. On the ensuing shootout attempt Baltimore's Stephen DeRoux was given a tripping penalty and Fitzgerald went on to save the next shootout attempt.
Cecil Lewis scored another SharX three-pointer but Lookingland scored his second goal of the night in the 10th minute of the final quarter to secure the 18-10 victory.
The Blast will return to 1st Mariner Arena Saturday night to host the Rochester Lancers. Saturday is military appreciation night at 1st Mariner Arena and the Blast players will take the field in camo jerseys that fans can bid on throughout the game. Saturday will also be the final regular-season meeting between Baltimore and Rochester, with the Blast having won each of the previous three games. The Lancers are led by Mauricio Salles who has 53 points and ranks second in the MISL in scoring. Veteran Doug Miller follows with 44 points and goalkeeper Pat Hannigan is 7-6 on the season.
Friday vs. Norfolk SharX
Saturday vs. Rochester Lancers
Baltimore Blast: 12-4, first place Eastern Division
Norfolk SharX: 3-14, fourth place Eastern Division
Rochester Lancers: 7-9, second place Eastern Division
Upcoming Blast Games:
Wednesday, February 1 vs. Norfolk SharX
Blanket Night - FREE Blast fleece blanket to the first 500 adults who enter 1st Mariner Arena
Saturday, February 4 at Milwaukee Wave
Tickets to all remaining Blast home games are available by calling 410-73-BLAST or online at www.TicketMaster.com.
Every remaining Blast regular-season game will be available via live webcast at www.MISLlivesoccer.com.