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Big third quarter lifts Blast to 20-9 victory over Rochester Lancers

1st Mariner Arena

The Blast scored in bunches on Friday night and there were far too many for the Rochester Lancers to keep up.

The biggest splurge came early in the third quarter — four goals in less than five minutes — and it gave the Blast plenty of cushion on its way to a comfortable 20-9 win over the Lancers in front of an announced crowd of 4,157 at 1st Mariner Arena.

Forward Lucio Gonzaga led the way with two goals and two assists for the Blast, while Tino Nunez scored twice in the pivotal third quarter. Adauto Neto and Adriano Dos Santos also scored two goals each in the win.

The Blast, which hosts the Missouri Comets on Saturday at 7:35 p.m., improves to 15-4 overall and 11-0 at home.

Leading 8-7 at the half, the Blast was precise and highly creative in scoring four straight goals to put the game away early in the third quarter.

Nunez got things started with a left-footed finish while on the ground in front of the goal. Gonzaga buried a shot up top after a give-and-go with Machel Millwood. Nunez was in front to redirect a shot from Gonzaga into the net, and then Millwood finished the spurt with a half volley after Tony Donatelli found him on the right side.

Just like that, the home team led, 16-7, and just needed to play its typically sound defense the rest of the way to earn the victory.

"We just knew we needed to respond after playing flat in the first half. We were a little loose on defense and it wasn't good enough. But we came out in the third quarter with a much better focus and mentality, and I think it showed on the field," Blast coach Danny Kelly said.

Two goals coming 50 seconds apart early in the second quarter gave the Blast a lead it would never relinquish.

Neto collected a pass from Lucas Roque up top, took a quick touch to gain some space before unleashing a shot that deflected off a defender and then in for his second goal of the game and a 6-5 advantage with 12:18 to play in the first half.

Less than a minute later, defender Patrick Healey carried the ball to the right corner and sent a ball above the goalie to the far post for Adriano Dos Santos to head home for an 8-5 lead.

The Lancers, who got two restart goals from Doug Miller — including a three-point score — to give them a 5-4 lead after the first quarter, got a third one when Evan McNeley scored with 1:47 left to cut the lead to 8-7 at halftime.

Neto and Gonzaga scored the Blast goals in the first quarter.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

Rochester 5 2 2 0 -- 9

Blast 4 4 8 4 -- 20

First quarter

Scoring: 1. Rochester, Miller, 3 pt., 2:21; 2. Blast, Neto, 2 pt., (Gonzaga), 5:31; 3. Rochester, Miller, 2 pt., 7:24; 4. Blast, Gonzaga, 2 pt., (Lookingland), 12:10.

Penalties: None

Second quarter

Scoring: 5. Blast, Neto, 2 pt., (Roque), 2:48; 6. Blast, Dos Santos, 2 pt., (Healey), 3:32; 7. Rochester, McNeley, 2 pt., (McGreal), 13:13

Penalties: None

Third quarter

Scoring: 8. Blast, Nunez, 2 pt., 3:31; 9. Blast, Gonzaga, 2 pt., (Millwood), 4:34; 10. Blast, Nunez, 2 pt., (Gonzaga), 6:51; 11. Blast, Millwood, 2 pt., (Donatelli), 8:15; 12. Rochester, Manscuk, 2 pt., (Franco), 9:28

Penalties: Rochester, Basso, (dangerous play), :23

Fourth quarter

Scoring: 13. Blast, Donatelli, 2 pt., (Lookingland), 1:11; 14. Blast, Dos Santos, 2 pt., 11:12

Penalties: None

Shots on goal: Rochester 7-8-5-3 -- 23; Blast 7-4-11-10 -- 32.

Power-play opportunities: Missouri 0-for-0; Blast 0-for-1.

Goalie saves: Rochester, Hannigan 4-0-1-5 -- 10, Ortiz 2; Blast, Vanzela 3-4-3-1 -- 11.

A – 4,157

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