By Glenn Graham
The Baltimore Sun
10:37 PM EST, February 2, 2013
The Blast was able to sneak away with two wins this weekend, sweeping the Syracuse Silver Knights in a home-and-home series that concluded with an 11-6 victory Saturday night.
Stephen DeRoux snapped a 6-6 game with a goal coming with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter, and Ptah Myers added a 3-point goal in the closing seconds to seal the win before an announced crowd of 6,316 at 1st Mariner Arena.
The Blast improves to 17-5 on the season and remains in second place in the Major Indoor Soccer League, one game behind the Milwaukee Wave (16-2).
The Blast blanked the visiting Silver Knights, last in the Major Indoor Soccer League with a 6-15 mark, throughout the second half.
A concern for the team, though, was how it went about collecting two wins against the league's weakest team. After needing overtime to come away with a 10-8 win in Syracuse on Friday, the Blast didn't exactly blow away the lesser competition Saturday.
"I'm happy with the two results, but at the same time we have to be better," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "We're creating chances, but we're not finishing them off. We need to be doing better."
After opening the season with nine straight wins, the Blast has gone 8-5, watching the Wave take over first place.
Defender Mike Lookingland led the offense Saturday with two goals and an assist, and goalkeeper William Vanzela made 10 saves.
The game was tied at 4 at intermission, with all the scoring in the first half coming in the first quarter. Lookingland and Syracuse standout Neto each scored two goals in that period.
Rookie Marco Mangione gave the Blast a 6-4 lead early in the third quarter before Neto answered with his third goal of the game in the closing minutes of the quarter to make it 6-6.
"Obviously, the teams that are successful in the playoffs and win championships are the ones that are playing their best at the end of the year," Kelly said. "We have some work to do in these last four games, because our focus isn't where it needs to be. We have some guys that are off, and we need to get them on. It's all on us."
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