Another Blast home game, another Blast blowout win.
The team has reached the midway point of the inaugural Major Arena Soccer League's 20-game regular season with perfect marks across the board in producing a stellar 10-0 record.
On Saturday night, it once again had more firepower on offense and higher efficiency on defense than its opponent. And, once again, the differences were considerable.
For a fourth time this season, the Blast controlled every aspect of a game against the Syracuse Silver Knights and cruised to a 22-4 win in front of an announced crowd of 6,431 at Royal Farms Arena.
"We're excited to be where we are right now at 10-0, but we haven't accomplished anything yet in terms of our goals and that's winning a championship," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. We know we're not a finished product yet and still have some work in front of us."
In going 10-0, the Blast is now 5 1/2 games in front of second-place Rochester (4-5) in the MASL's Eastern Division with Syracuse (4-6) six games back. The Blast will travel to Milwaukee to meet the Wave Friday and visit the Detroit Waza Flo Saturday.
The Blast has outscored opponents by a 189-53 margin. In eight games against its four Eastern Division opponents, the Blast totaled 162 points and the others scored 35. At home, it has racked up 118 points and yielded 29
Midfielder Jonatas Melo scored three goals and Diego Zuniga had one goal and three assists, all in the take-charge first half. The Blast had 10 players record at least a goal or assist.
During an officials timeout midway through the second quarter, the Silver Knights were slumped over their bench — already looking defeated. Seconds before, Blast defender Adriano Dos Santos scored to make it 12-2 and then two more Blast goals followed to make it 16-2 at halftime.
Melo beat a defender to gain time and space in the middle to precisely finish for a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into play. Zuniga made it 4-0 on the power play with 9:08 to play. Less than two minutes later, a Syracuse defender chested a ball back to a goalie that wasn't in position, finishing in the net with the goal credited to Melo for a 6-0 lead.
The Silver Knights did get the next goal, but showed little resistance as the Blast built a 16-2 halftime lead that featured three power play goals and points from eight different players.
The most suspense came at the halftime break when a Blast cheerleader was surprised by her boyfriend with a marriage proposal in the middle of the field. She accepted in front of the cheering crowd.
The Blast is one of two teams that have perfect records in the 23-team league. The Missouri Comets are 11-0 in MASL's Central Division.
Syracuse 2 0 2 -- 4
Blast 8 8 0 6 – 22
Scoring: 1. Blast, Melo, 2 pt., (Zuniga), 2:15; 2. Blast, Zuniga, 2 pt., pp., 5:52; 3. Blast, Melo, 2 pt., 6:39; 4. Syracuse, Grant, 2 pt, 9:02; 5. Blast, Roque, 2 pt., pp. (Zuniga), 13:35
Penalties: Syracuse, (too many men), 4:05; Syracuse, Santana, (striking), 11:40
Scoring: 6. Blast, Ferdinand, 2 pt., (Healey), 4:23; 7. Blast, Dos Santos, 2 pt., (Roque), 7:39; 8. Blast, Neto, (Zuniga), 2 pt., 8:58; 9. Blast, Gonzaga, 2 pt., pp., 12:34
Penalties: Syracuse, Chantel, (tripping), 11:36
Scoring: 10. Blast, Houapeu, 2 pt., 7:15; 11. Syracuse, Grant, 2 pt., (Vitale), 7:26
Penalties: Syracuse, Chantel (pushing), 9:24; Syracuse, Chantel, (five-minute misconduct -- ejection), 9:24; Blast, Roque, (pushing), 9:24.
Scoring: 12. Blast, Healey, 2 pt., (Dantas), 2 pt., 1:42; 13. Blast, Melo, 2 pt., (Roque), 3:19.
Shots: Syracuse 4-2-6-8 -- 20; Blast 13-7-2-6 -- 28.
Power-play opportunities: Syracuse 0-for-0; Blast 3-for-3.
Goalie saves: Syracuse, O'Quinn, 4-2-1-2 -- 9; Blast, Vanzela, 3-2-3-1 -- 9 .
A – 6,431