Blast breezes to win against overmatched Twisters

The Baltimore Sun

It shaped up as a mismatch and developed as just that.

With the Massachusetts Twisters, a last-minute entry into the National Indoor Soccer League, as the opposition for the first time ever, the Blast quickly turned the game into little more than a scrimmage, racing to a 12-0 first-quarter lead and proceeding to a 27-2 victory last night at 1st Mariner Arena.

Even without the franchise's all-time leading scorer, Denison Cabral, who sat out the game with an illness, the Blast had far too much skill for the Twisters (0-3), a team routed twice by the Philadelphia KiXX in its previous starts.

The Blast (3-0) temporarily assumed first place in the NISL, pending the outcome of the KiXX's next outing, but couldn't seal the shutout when backup goalie Dave Kern went to the penalty box for an intentional hand ball and Kylie Texaria scored on a penalty kick against Sagu in the final two minutes.

Sagu blanked the Twisters in the first half, making seven stops, then turned the netminding over to Kern, who had not played this season.

By halftime, midfielder Robbie Aristodemo had collected four assists and Machel Millwood and Matt Tirschman each had two goals.

The Blast scored in every way imaginable - on the power play, short-handed, off free kicks, breakaways and with individual brilliance - but still did not threaten the team record of 34 points, set Feb. 20, 2000, against the Kansas City Comets.

Aristodemo, the team's diminutive quarterback on the field, finished with five assists and hit a short-handed three-pointer with Carlos Garcia serving a penalty early in the third quarter.

Millwood, who had been nursing a groin injury, retired after the half, leaving the offense to others.

Garcia and Giuliano Celenza also pitched in with two goals, and Pat Healey, son of the team's general manager Kevin, had his first goal in a Blast uniform.

"I feel bad for them. They haven't trained that much," Aristodemo said of the Twisters.

"It's going to take them time. For us, it was chance to try to work out things we're not good at.

"It wasn't anything special."

Said Blast coach Danny Kelly: "We came out to win. Every game is important. We've got respect for the guys on Massachusetts because they never stopped playing.

"They've just got a lot of guys who are new to the game."

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