Baltimore Thunder faceoff specialist Bill Dirrigl sounded a little cheated after last night's 17-11 loss to the Boston Blazers.
Dirrigl wasn't accusing the visiting Blazers of foul play and he couldn't have had any gripe with the 8,395 partisan fans at Baltimore Arena who hoped to watch the Thunder (0-3) claim its first Major Indoor lacrosse League win of the season. He was just thinking out loud why his team has to work so hard for each of its goals while their opponents make it look so easy.
"They get easy goals and we don't, and that's the bottom line," Dirrigl said. "We're not a very good transition team right now, and I don't know why. We have good players, and the coach is doing a great job, but we're just not scoring goals. They get easy goals, and we don't. I don't know why."
Tim Soudan was part of the problem. Soudan led the Blazers (1-1) with five goals, including two in the fourth quarter in which Boston outscored the hosts, 6-2.
Paul Cantabene opened the scoring for Baltimore 52 seconds into game on a feed from Jeff Wills. Boston score twice within 19 seconds to take a 2-1 lead with 3:04 left in the first quarter.
The Thunder countered with two goals. Brian Kronenberger (Loyola College) scored on an assist from Rick Fried, and Lindsay Dixon gave Baltimore a short-lived 3-2 advantage. In between, Thunder goalkeeper David Lee (47 saves) faced a barrage of shots and made five straight saves, four of which came from point-blank range.
Boston's Tim Soudan won the ensuing faceoff and scored 13 seconds later to make it 3-3 going into the second quarter.
The Thunder took the lead briefly when Tim Hormes fed Kronenberger for his second goal just over a minute into the second quarter. Boston forward Neil Doddridge scored on a double-assist with Bob Martino in the penalty box for Baltimore and had an unassisted goal at the 6:05 mark to give the Blazers a 5-4 lead.
The Thunder tied the score on a shot by Jeff Wills that caromed off a Boston defender and over the head of the Blazers' goalkeeper Marty O'Neill (31 saves).
Both teams capitalized on a man-up opportunity in the final seconds of the first half, which ended at 6-6.
Baltimore took a 7-6 lead after a John Tucker goal in the first minute of the second half, and, after yielding two goals, regained the lead on a goals by Dixon and Butch Marino.
The Blazers (1-1), who lost their opener to the Detroit team that spoiled the Thunder's season debut, added three straight goals before end of the third quarter and added two more early in the fourth quarter to take a 13-9 lead.
Tim Welsh pulled Baltimore within three on a dual-feed from Wills and Vince Angotti. From there, Boston matched each of Baltimore's goals with two of their own.