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Blast’s Lack of Experience Shows In 18-7 Loss to Syracuse
The Blast’s 18-7 loss to the Syracuse Silver Knights proved this new, young team has a lot to work on before they can compete for the national championship they are known for being in the running for.
The Silver Knights, in their first season in the league, had two games under their belt before facing the Blast at 1st Mariner Arena. They scored 13 points off six goals before the Blast put points on the board 1:56 into the fourth quarter.
“You have to give Syracuse credit,” coach Danny Kelly said. “They came in. They obviously had a game plan, stuck to it, frustrated us on the offensive side of things and then finished their chances. I thought some of the goals we gave up were soft. You’re not going to win many games giving up soft goals.”
The Blast had several wide open shots but no one in the center to take them. A lack of communication, teamwork, cohesiveness, guys being where they needed to be was clear in the Blast’s many attempts to find the back of the net.
Baltimore begins this season with six new players and 12 returning, only four of which have been with the team for seven or more years, two are playing with the Blast for their second season. The dividing balance between inexperience and experience had a definite effect on the Blast’s ability to execute plays.
“We have new faces on the team, but I’m not using that as an excuse,” Kelly said. “These guys are professionals; they are expected to go out there and do a job. And tonight we didn’t do our job well enough. It’s very tough to swallow in front of our home fans. And we had a great crowd tonight. It’s very disappointing with the result.”
In the second quarter, Machel Millwood got fouled following a very good shot opportunity. On the Blast free kick, a well-devised, four-pass scheme falls short with a kick from Millwood deflected out. Blast had two kick-in opportunities on the ensuing plays and failed to convert.
If the net was about eight feet higher, the Blast might have tied the score as a variety of players has shot opportunities that went high. Rookie mistakes made by non-rookie players and turnovers riddled the first half.
Baltimore scored three consecutive goals in the fourth quarter to put some points on the board, but Kelly’s attempt to increase scoring chances by bringing in Mike Lookingland as sixth attacker proved to bit the Blast in the ass. Syracuse added four late points to their total as two goals rolled into a wide-open goal.
“In this game things happened too quickly. We need to get five guys behind the ball,” Kelly said. “You must get numbers behind the ball and we didn’t do that quickly enough tonight and allowed them some opportunities. And what happened at the end of the game tonight was unacceptable. For us to give them six points in open-net goals that directly came from us, too casual with the ball, that’s unacceptable.”
The Blast now head out on a five-game road trip, including two back-to-back games in different cities. They do not return to 1st Mariner until Dec. 9. Their performance on this road trip will surely dictate their ability to recoup from such a horrible drubbing.