Team play ignites Blast to 9-6 comeback victory


It could be remembered as the play that finally turned a struggling Baltimore Blast team around.

The score was tied at 3 late in the third quarter and Billy Ronson and Dale Mitchell had a two-on-none fast break.

Ronson, the team's leading scorer, had the ball on the left sidand Mitchell was wide open on the right side.

Ronson, who has been accused at times this season of takintoo many shots, gave the ball up to Mitchell, who could have easily taken the shot, but Mitchell passed the ball back to Ronson, who scored from 35 feet for a 4-3 lead and the Blast went on to a 9-6 victory over the Dallas Sidekicks last night before 7,543 at the Baltimore Arena.

"That goal was the ultimate in team play," said Blast coacKenny Cooper who had a pre-game chat with Mitchell about relaxing and just playing soccer.

"Dale wants to do well, but he's been pressing too much. I tolhim to forget everything and play the game."

Ronson said: "There was never any controversy between Daland I. He's a great striker. We might get a little mixed up sometimes but we both want to win."

Mitchell said of his unselfish play: "The thing to do was to givthe ball back to Billy. Krys [Sobieski] had come out towards me on the play and I had to get it to Billy."

Mitchell was obviously a relaxed player last night as he set uRonson for Baltimore's fourth goal and went on to rack up two goals and two assists.

Ronson also had a big game, scoring three goals ancontributing one assist.

Tim Wittman (two goals, two assists) and Mike Stankovic (twgoals, one assist) joined in the Baltimore offensive show.

Wittman now has 301 points (198 goals, 103 assists) in hi10-year career and needs only 29 points to pass Stan Stamenkovic as the team's all-time leading scorer.

But the offensive parade wasn't enough to prevent the Blasfrom pursuing a trade with the Sidekicks to shore up its defense.

Cooper said the team expected to complete a trade btomorrow, but wouldn't say who might be involved in the trade. However, sources close to the Sidekicks said that Dallas defender Doc Lawson was the primary candidate.

"We still need defensive help," said Cooper. "It was a greaoffensive show for us tonight but we still need help on defense. We really miss Angelo Panzetta [out for seven months with knee injury]."

The Blast salvaged a 3-3 tie at halftime by scoring two goals ithe last 63 seconds of the first half.

Wittman and Ronson scored to gain the tie after the Sidekickhad jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes, 2 seconds of the game.

Tatu scored twice and Kevin Smith had one goal to give Dallathe early advantage.

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