Five-goal spree in 4th quar­ter shows team in typ­i­cal form

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­ twit­­nGra­hamSun

It took a good chunk of time — three-plus quar­ters — for the Blast to shake off the ex­pan­sion Florida Trop­ics on Fri­day night. But once they did, it looked like typ­i­cal Blast soc­cer.

Cling­ing to a one-goal lead, the de­fend­ing Ma­jor Arena Soc­cer League champions en­joyed a five-goal out­burst early in the fourth quar­ter to claim a 7-1 win be­fore an an­nounced 4,121 at Royal Farms Arena. Blast coach Danny Kelly liked what he saw in the fourth quar­ter.

“A sense of ur­gency ev­ery shift and guys mak­ing good de­ci­sions with the ball,” he said.

The Blast (2-1) got goals from seven play­ers with mid­fielder Juan Pereira (one goal, one as­sist) spark­ing the piv­otal fourth-quar­ter stretch.

With the Blast hold­ing on to their 2-1 lead, Pereira made a run along the left boards be­fore find­ing Jereme Ra­ley in front for a two-goal lead with 12:41 to play.

Af­ter Nel­son San­tana made the score 4-1a lit­tle more than a minute later, Pereira opened the flood­gates with an unas­sisted goal for a 5-1 lead with 10:56 to play.

An­drew Hoxie also fin­ished with one goal and one as­sist, and goalie Wil­liam Vanzela made seven saves for the win.

The Blast trav­els to Florida on Dec. 3 to take on the Trop­ics (1-1) at 7:05 p.m. For now, Pereira and the team are go­ing to cel­e­brate Fri­day’s home win for a lit­tle while.

“For us, ev­ery sin­gle quar­ter has to be bet­ter and we have to work harder ev­ery sin­gle time. That’s the key for us,” Pereira sai

With a hand­ful of new­com­ers and other young play­ers step­ping into big­ger roles, Kelly was pleased to see Pereira, in his Dec. 3, 7:05 p.m. third sea­son, step to the fore­front in the fourth quar­ter.

“That’s what he’s ca­pa­ble of and I’m hard on him be­cause I know that’s what he’s ca­pa­ble of. ” Kelly said. On Fri­day, re­lief didn’t come un­til the fourth quar­ter and the first quar­ter pro­duced frus­tra­tion more than any­thing else.

Un­like last week’s per­for­mance, when they fell be­hind and mus­tered only four shots in the first three quar­ters, the Blast came out energized and pres­sured the Trop­ics through­out the first 15 min­utes. They pep­pered goalie Piotr Silwa with six shots and had oth­ers go high or wide.

The Trop­ics added to the Blast’s woes early in the sec­ond quar­ter when Lu­cas Teix­eira at­tempted a far shot from that found its way to far post, car­omed off goalie Wil­liam Vanzela and in for a1-0 lead 1:03 into the quar­ter.

The Blast re­sponded with a goal from Jonatas Melo with 9:35 to play in the half and turned a give­away by the Trop­ics into a goal by Tony Donatelli less than two min­utes later for a 2-1 half­time lead.

It turned out to be the game-win­ner with the Blast suc­cess­fully pro­tect­ing the lead and pour­ing it on in the fourth quar­ter.

NOTE: The Blast an­nounced that they signed de­fender Diego Mayanga and goal­keeper Chris Fen­ner, cap­ping their ros­ter at 20. Mayanga, from Corona, N.Y., has ex­ten­sive fut­sal ex­pe­ri­ence. Fen­ner, from Manas­sas, Va., played at Tow­son Univer­sity. Both were in­ac­tive for Fri­day’s game.

In­di­ana and Devonte Wil­liams of Columbia will play Michi­gan to­day

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