Led by Giuliano Celenza, the Baltimore Blast defeated the Massachusetts Twisters, 20-9 Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena in the last home game of the 2008-09 NISL regular season. Celenza scored four goals and added one assist and goalkeeper Dave Kern improved to 3-0 on the season. The team will end the regular season on Sunday, March 29th in Monterrey before hosting the 2009 NISL Championship on April 11th.
Jay Wills scored for the Twisters just 19 seconds into the game to take an early 2-0 lead but PJ Wakefield tied the game 30 seconds later to start a five-goal run for the Blast. Celenza scored two of his four goals in the first quarter and Machel Millwood added a goal to put the Blast on top, 8-2, heading into the second quarter.
Celenza completed the hat trick in the 10th minute of the second quarter to give Baltimore a 10-2 lead before Wills scored again for Massachusetts to cut the lead to 10-4. Celenza's fourth goal of the night ended the first half and extended the Blast lead to 12-4.
Matt Tirschman and rookie Rich Lesmes scored in the third quarter to give the Blast 14-4 and 16-4 leads but the Twisters fought back, scoring two goals in the last minute of the quarter to make it 16-9. Kevin Radziwon scored at the 14:17 mark and Thomas Nevue scored a three-point goal at 14:31. Lesmes's goal was the first of his career.
Carlos Garcia scored a penalty kick goal midway though the fourth quarter and Wakefield added his second goal of the night to give the Blast the 20-9 victory. Wills was ejected late in the game after receiving his third blue card and will be unavailable for tomorrow's game in Philadelphia.