MASL Eastern Conference final
When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.
Where: Towson University’s SECU Arena
Tickets: 410-73-BLAST, ticketmaster.com, baltimoreblast.com
Outlook: The winner advances to the Major Arena Soccer League championship game. The two-time defending league champion Blast earned home field advantage with a 9-6 win over Milwaukee on Feb. 23, taking two of three games against the Wave in the regular season. Both teams had to grind out division round wins with the Blast getting past the Syracuse Silver Knights and the Wave beating the Cedar Rapids Rampage in two-game sweeps. All four games were decided by one goal. The Blast are 11-7 all-time against the Wave and 5-2 at home during the postseason. With Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Silver Knights to wrap up the Eastern Division title, the Blast moved to 12-0 at home this season, while the Wave are 8-4 on the road. The Wave will bring a powerful offense led by Ian Bennett, former Blast player Max Ferdinand and Marcio Leite. Blast coach Danny Kelly said starting goalkeeper William Vanzela, who has been out since mid-January with a groin injury, is day-to-day and the team likely won’t make a decision on his status until Thursday. His replacement, Joey Kapinos, has played well since taking over, making 13 saves in the Blast’s win Sunday. A balanced attack has been the key to the Blast’s success with players stepping up at important times. On Sunday, Vini Dantas led the way with two goals and a late assist to seal the victory. The winner will meet the Western Conference winner between the Monterrey Flash and San Diego Sockers in the league championship game. With the Flash and Sockers owning the top two regular-season records, either would host the title game.