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Blast to face Soles in MASL title-series rematch starting April 7 at Royal Farms Arena

Blast to face Soles in MASL title-series rematch starting April 7 at Royal Farms Arena
The Blast's Tony Donatelli, right, battles for a header against Sonora's Raymundo Contreras, left, in the quarter of Game 1 of the 2016 MASL championship series April 10 at Royal Farms Arena. The Blast won, 7-4. Donatelli scored the title-clinching goal in overtime of Game 2. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The Blast learned overnight which team they will need to defeat in the Ron Newman Cup Championship Series to defend their Major Arena Soccer League title.

Soles de Sonora edged the San Diego Sockers, 11-10, in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals early Sunday morning in Hermosillo, Mexico, and will travel to Baltimore to start the best-of-three finals April 7 at 8:05 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena.

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Game 2 and a 15-minute mini-Game 3 (if necessary) will be April 9 in Hermosillo at the Centro de Usos Multiples, starting at 9:05 p.m.

The series will be a rematch of the 2016 championship series, won by the Blast on Tony Donatelli's overtime goal in Game 2. The Eastern Conference champion Blast are seeking their ninth professional indoor soccer title.

The dates and game times for this year's series were announced after Soles held off a spirited comeback bid by San Diego, which was seeking its 15th pro indoor championship.

Soles scored six of the first seven goals and led 9-4 early in the third quarter and 11-7 early in the fourth before the Sockers rallied. Three straight goals, the last with 4:49 remaining in the game, brought San Diego to within one goal for the first time since the first quarter.

The Blast advanced to the championship series by beating the Harrisburg Heat to win the Eastern Division and the Milwaukee Wave to take the Eastern Conference.

The Blast and Soles did not meet during the regular season.

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