WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -Little drama remained as the Blast entered the fourth quarter of last night's game against the Massachusetts Twisters.
With Baltimore's 10th victory all but complete, the only uncertainty was whether the Blast would eclipse the 20-point mark - one it had surpassed in three previous meetings with the Twisters.That was accomplished quickly as the Blast poured in three goals in the first five minutes of the final quarter as it routed the Twisters, 23-9, at the Eastern States Coliseum.
"We got off to a slow start tonight," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "I think we were a little too casual. It took a little while to get going, and once we did it was much better."
It was not the record-setting 37-point offensive outburst the Blast experienced in last week's trip to Massachusetts. But the 23-point effort was the fourth time Baltimore scored at least that many points against Massachusetts.
The previous three wins came by scores of 27-2, 26-4 and 37-5. The Blast's highest point total in a game against any of the three other National Indoor Soccer League teams was 18 points against Philadelphia.
Machel Millwood, who missed the record-setting performance last Saturday with an ankle injury, made up for it with a game-high five goals. That matches the Blast single-game season-high set by Adrian Bumbut in last week's game against Massachusetts.
The former Towson standout had a hat trick by the 6:57 mark of the second quarter. He added one in the third period and another score in the fourth. Millwood leads the Blast with 36 points this season.
"Having him back in the lineup has helped us out a lot," Kelly said of Millwood, who returned during Friday's 9-4 victory against the Rockford Rampage.
Baltimore's Giuliano Celenza was the only other Blast player with multiple goals. He scored two goals, pushing his season total to 12 goals.
The Blast (10-2) increased its lead atop the NISL standings, pushing its advantage to three games over second-place Monterrey La Raza. Baltimore will meet Monterrey in a first vs. second matchup next Sunday in Mexico.The Twisters (1-12) will visit Baltimore on March 21 for the fifth and final regular-season game against the Blast.