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Balanced Attack outlasts Blast; After 3 even quarters, Baltimore falls, 23-17


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Blast did just about everything it needed to do to win last night. Goalkeeper Khalil Azmi provided 22 saves and the team put up 17 points on the road. Not a bad combination.

But the Blast couldn't contain the constant barrage of shots by the Kansas City Attack and suffered a 23-17 loss at Kemper Arena.

The Blast, which split its weekend road trip after a win Friday in Harrisburg, dropped to 9-12.

The Blast held an 8-7 lead at halftime and was tied with Kansas City (9-11) at the end of three quarters. But Samuel Ekeme's goal, his second of the game, at the 4: 36 mark of the fourth proved to be the game-winner.

"We gave up a lot of points," said Blast coach Kevin Healey. "They did an effective job of holding the ball early in the fourth quarter. They scored there and were able to pull away.

"I feel we've been on a pretty good roll, having won five of our last seven games," he added. "We're a more confident team. But we have to find a way to get on another streak and get back to .500."

The Blast struck first when Franklin McIntosh blasted a shot past goalkeeper Warren Westcoat at 4: 19 in the first quarter.

McIntosh, who also had an assist, was ejected with 1: 08 left after being called for penalties.

The rest of the first quarter belonged to Kansas City, as three goals gave the Attack a 7-2 lead.

The Blast rallied in the second quarter behind brilliant work in goal by Azmi. The Attack blasted 15 shots from all angles and distances, and the veteran from Casablanca turned them all away. Meantime, Tarik Walker, Doug Neely and Danny Santoro scored two-point goals within three minutes.

The Blast went to halftime with a sudden 8-7 lead, despite a Kansas City 30-12 advantage in shots taken, through Azmi's 18 saves and nine team blocks.

The Blast made it 10-7 36 seconds into the third quarter when Walker scored easily. Additional Blast goals by Barry Stitz and Denison Cabral, and Attack goals by Ekeme, Jon Parry, Wes Wade and Kevin Koetters tied the game 16-16.

Pub Date: 1/24/99

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