The Blast improved to 15-6 and remain in the hunt for home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a 17-13 win over the visiting Milwaukee Wave Saturday night. In front of 9,644 fans at 1st Mariner Arena, Machel Millwood scored three goals and Shaun David scored a three-point goal with just 29 seconds left in the game to lead the Blast to victory.
The Wave jumped out to a 4-0 lead on goals from JP Rodrigues and Marcio Leite but the Blast responded with goals from Millwood and Stephen DeRoux to end the first quarter and tie the game at 4-4.
After a scoreless second quarter, Millwood scored two goals in less than four minutes and Max Ferdinand added a goal to put the Blast on top, 10-4 after three quarters.
In the high-scoring fourth quarter the Wave outscored the Blast four goals to three but the Blast defense rallied around Sagu to keep the Wave comeback in check. Blast rookie J.T. Noone extended Baltimore's lead to 12-4 in the sixth minute of the final quarter before former Blast player Jonathan Greenfield scored a three-point goal to cut the Blast lead to 12-7. Ptah Myers scored next before Wave veteran and assistant coach Giuliano Oliviero scored back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to 14-11. David sealed the victory with his long-range three-point goal and Hewerton Moreira scored the last goal of the match.
The game was the 76th meeting between the Baltimore and Milwaukee and the Wave's first return to Baltimore since winning the MISL Championship last March. The Wave lead the all-time regular-season series 46-30 and the Blast hold the postseason edge, 9-4. Since the 2002-03 season, the road to the MISL Championship has gone through the Blast and Wave five times and the teams have combined to win 10 of the last 14 league championships (each team has five titles in that time period).
In honor of breast cancer awareness the Blast players donned special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off online from February 19 to February 26. Auction proceeds will go to the MedStar Good Samaritan Cancer Patient Assistance Fund and MedStar Union Memorial Oncology Giving Tree, courtesy of Blast partners MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.
Zach Lederer, the University Maryland, College Park freshman who has inspired people around the world after his recent brain surgery, kicked out the fist ball along with several breast cancer survivors. Lederer, who underwent surgery on January 25, flexed his muscles for a photo just hours after his procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in an attempt to let his friends and family know that he made it through the surgery and intended to fight his second bout with cancer. Lederer’s cousins posted the photo on facebook and the craze known as “Zaching” spread across the country and around the world. Just days after his surgery, Lederer, 18, returned to his duties as a student manager for the Terps men’s basketball team and pictures and videos of people from all over the world “Zaching” began pouring in.
Every remaining regular season game will be available via live webcast at www.MISLlivesoccer.com.
Tickets to all Blast home games are available at www.TicketMaster.com.
Remaining Regular-Season Games:
Sunday, February 26 at Norfolk SharX
Friday, March 2 vs. Wichita Wings
Sunday, March 4 at Syracuse Silver Knights