Blast 14 La Raza 11

The Baltimore Sun

MILWAUKEE -- David Bascome wasn't afraid to say the "D" word.

The veteran Blast midfielder said it after his team beat Monterrey La Raza, 14-11, to win its fourth Major Indoor Soccer League title in the past six seasons.

"This is a dynasty. We have four championships in six years, and it says a lot," he said.

Forward Denison Cabral got a hat trick and was named the Most Valuable Player of the game, and Carlos Garcia added two goals for the Blast, which rallied from an early four-point deficit.

The Blast also won in 2003, 2004 and 2006. The Blast stayed perfect at 4-0 in MISL finals - it beat the Milwaukee Wave for its first two championships and defeated the St. Louis Steamers on a golden goal in 2006.

The Blast, seeded third in the six-team league playoffs, went 5-0 this postseason.

Besides last night's victory, the team swept two-game sets against the New Jersey Ironmen and Milwaukee.

The last challenge was fourth-seeded Monterrey, which took a four-point lead after one quarter.

However, it struggled against the Blast's strong defense in the final three periods.

The teams were tied at 6 at halftime.

"We went to the locker room knowing we didn't play a good half. Coach was jumping up and down," Cabral said of Blast coach Danny Kelly. "Everybody just committed to playing good defense, we finished our chances and the result was there."

Monterrey pressured the Blast in the first quarter, and it paid off with two goals in the final two minutes of the period. Byron Alvarez scored his second goal of the quarter on a turning shot from the left side, off a long pass from goalkeeper Jose Bontti, to give La Raza a 4-2 lead at 13:12 of the period.

Midfielder Ivan Medina scored from the middle of the penalty area with 35 seconds left in the quarter, leaving the Blast trailing 6-2.

"We sort of fell into the trap of turning the ball over, forcing things, and they capitalized on that," Kelly said. "The second half we were steadier defensively, we had a bit more possession and created some chances.

"I don't know about that [a dynasty]. I just think we have a great organization, a great owner and every year it puts a team on the field that can compete for a championship."

Cabral, who scored earlier on a restart chance, made a quick run into the box and scored on a ball played off the end boards by Blast defender Mike Lookingland, trimming the deficit to 6-4 early in the second quarter.

The Blast tied the score when Giuliano Celenza found Carlos Garcia in front of the goal for a tap-in at 10:59.

Celenza scored off an assist by forward Machel Millwood for an 8-6 Blast lead early in the third period, but La Raza responded quickly with a goal by defender Carlos Pichardo.

Garcia scored his second goal from just inside the penalty area, off a feed from Bascome, and 12 seconds later, Cabral scored his third goal of the match to put the Blast ahead 12-8.

Those two quick goals proved too much for La Raza to overcome.

"The last time we were here I didn't have a good performance," Cabral said of his scoreless outing in a semifinal victory over the Wave last weekend. "I just focused a lot in practice this week, because I know they expect me to do my job, and I didn't do it well enough last game."

Lucio scored an insurance goal late in the fourth quarter, pushing the Blast's lead to 14-8, before a three-point goal by La Raza's Jose Luiz Birche accounted for the final margin.

Monterrey 6 0 2 3 - 11

Blast 2 4 6 2 - 14

First quarter: 1. Monterrey, Alvarez (Medina), 2:52. 2. Blast, Cabral, restart goal, 5:38. 3. Monterrey, Alvarez (Bontti), 13:12. 4. Monterrey, Medina, 14:25. Second quarter: 5. Blast, Cabral (Lookingland), 2:52. 6. Blast, Garcia (Celenza), 10:59. Penalties: Vega, Monterrey (tripping), 13:23; Cabral, Blast (tripping), 14:58. Third quarter: 7. Blast, Celenza (Millwood), 2:29. 8. Monterrey, Pichardo (Alvarez), 4:55. 9. Blast, Garcia (Bascome), 7:10. 10. Blast, Cabral (Gonzaga), 7:22. Fourth quarter: 11. Blast, Gonzaga (Neto), 12:57. 12. Monterrey, Birche, sixth attacker goal, 14:54. Penalties: Santibanez, Monterrey (tripping), 8:44; Martinez, Monterrey (tripping), 14:56. Shots: Monterrey 32, Blast 36. Saves: Monterrey 18 (Bontti 18, Quiroz 0), Blast 14 (Sagu 14). Blocks: Monterrey 11, Blast 13. Fouls: Monterrey 7, Blast 11. Power-play chances: Monterrey 0 of 1, Blast 0 of 3. Referees: Tim Tyma, Kia Dehpanah. A: 4,327.

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