Blast falls to 13-1 with 5-4 OT loss at Las Vegas

From Sun staff and news services
Must all good things come to an end? Even the Blast's undefeated run through the MASL?

The Blast suffered its first loss of the Major Arena Soccer League season Friday night, falling, 5-4 in overtime, to the host Las Vegas Legends at Orleans Arena. Ivan Simental scored the game-winner 36 seconds into the extra session, beating goalie William Vanzela after receiving a pass from Uzi Tayou. Las Vegas tied the score on an unassisted goal by Eric Guzman 4:38 into the fourth quarter. The Blast, which entered the game having clinched a playoff berth and the No. 1 seed in the East, fell to 13-1. The Legends, who entered in third place in the Pacific, improved to 11-7. They struck quickly, taking a 1-0 lead 28 seconds into the game on a goal by Felipe Gonzalez that was assisted by Ivan Campos, then scored another 6:53 into the quarter on an unassisted goal by Simental. The Blast answered 33 seconds later when Adriano Dos Santos scored a bicycle kick, and Baltimore tied the score 9:44 into the quarter when Max Ferdinand weaved through the defense for his 10th goal of the year. The Blast went ahead at 12:19 when Vini Dantas scored unassisted on a power play. After a scoreless second quarter, Las Vegas' Christian Segura tied the score at 3 with an unassisted goal at 3:56 of the third. The Blast went back on top at 12:55 on Diego Zuniga's ninth goal of the season,set up by Pat Healey's team-leading 12th assist. Healey (Towson, Calvert Hall), who entered the night with a league-leading 35 blocks, had eight more Friday night. The Blast finished with 24 shots on goal compared with 16 for Las Vegas; each team blocked 11 shots. The Blast will play at the San Diego Sockers (13-3) tonight at 10:05.

NBA

Ex-Terp Len of Suns sprains right ankle

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (Maryland) suffered a right ankle sprain in a 108-87 loss to the Trail Blazers on Thursday night in Portland. During the third quarter, Len was dunking home a transition alley-oop pass from Eric Bledsoe when Blazers center Robin Lopez fouled him in the air. Len lost control sideways and turned his ankle badly on the landing. "I didn't see [Lopez] coming. … It happened so fast. I didn't know what happened actually," Len said of the play. X-rays confirmed the sprain, azcentral.com reported. "It's not a fracture or nothing, so I'll be back soon," said Len, who didn't play in Friday night's game against the Utah Jazz and is doubtful for the rest of the Suns' games before the All-Star break as they compete for a playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Et cetera

Nymeo buys field name at Keys' Grove Stadium

The Frederick Keys' minor league baseball field is getting a new name. The Frederick News-Post reported that the city's Board of Aldermen approved a naming-rights deal Thursday for city-owned Harry Grove Stadium. The playing surface will be called Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium when the Orioles' High-A Carolina League team opens its season April 9. The Keys and locally based Nymeo Credit Union are not releasing terms of the agreement. The city will receive 35 percent of the net profit from the sponsorship.

Spring training: The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros overcame another potential stumbling block in their efforts to secure a new spring training home in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday when the Palm Beach County legislative delegation approved a motion to introduce a bill in the next state session that would amend water regulations, clearing 27 acres crucial to the new facility. The City of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County agreed earlier this week to terms of a land swap that traded 140-plus acres of city-owned land to the county, which had already approved public funding for a new spring training facility pending the acquisition of a site. That move renewed hopes for a 2017 opening for a joint facility for the Astros and Nationals in West Palm Beach, and hastened the need for legislative action in order to preserve that schedule.

Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

More baseball: Infielder Danny Valencia won his salary arbitration case with the Toronto Blue Jays. Valencia, an Oriole in 2013, was asking for $1.675 million and the Blue Jays countered with $1.2 million. Last season, his salary was $532,500. Valencia batted .258 last year with four homers and 30 RBIs in 284 plate appearances. ... Reliever Pedro Strop and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a one-year contract worth $2.525 million and avoided salary arbitration. The agreement was slightly above the midpoint between the $3 million he had asked for and the $2 million the Cubs had offered. Strop, obtained from the Orioles in July 2013, was 2-4 with a 2.21 ERA last year, when he earned $1.325 million.

NFL: Prairie View A&M quarterback Jerry Lovelocke (Edmondson) has been invited to the scouting combine this month in Indianapolis. Lovelocke was invited as a throwing quarterback along with Southeastern Louisiana's Bryan Bennett and East Carolina's Shane Carden, meaning he'll throw passes for the players in drills. Lovelocke also will take part in the testing and interviews. ... The Indianapolis Colts have hired longtime NFL assistant Jim Hostler as their wide receivers coach. He was the senior offensive assistant with the Buffalo Bills last season and previously worked with the Ravens alongside Chuck Pagano, now the Indianapolis head coach.

Laurel Park: Nominations for the six stakes races that highlight the Presidents Day holiday weekend at Laurel Park were released Friday by the Maryland Jockey Club's racing office. Winter Carnival is headlined by two graded, 7-furlong contests — the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Grade 2) for fillies and mares next Saturday and the $250,000 General George Handicap (G3) for 3-year-olds and up on Feb. 16. The Saturday program also includes the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap and the $100,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes, both at one and one eighth miles. Besides the General George, Monday's card will be enhanced by the $100,000 Wide Country Stakes at 7 furlongs and the $100,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at 1 mile. Thirty runners were named to the Barbara Fritchie. Maryland Jockey Club stakes coordinator Coley Blind quickly checked off the names of six fillies and mares who are pointing to the race. Entries will close Feb. 11.

Men's college lacrosse: The Johns Hopkins-Maryland Big Ten game, originally scheduled to be played April 26, has been moved to April 25 with faceoff set for 8 p.m. at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

Women's college basketball: Maryland sophomore Lexie Brown was named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List. This is the second straight year Brown has been named to the list for the award honoring the nation's top point guard. Former Terp Natasha Cloud of Saint Joseph's also was nominated.

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