Friday, February 2, 2007
By Tom Hushen
Baltimore, MD - The top-seeded Philadelphia KiXX (10-6) fell tonight to the defending Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Champion Baltimore Blast (8-9) in the first game of a home-and-home series this weekend. The club took the loss in their first visit to 1st Mariner Arena tonight 19-12, despite 11-combined points from player/coach Don D'Ambra and three-time Defender-of-the-Year Genoni Martinez.
Martinez picked up right where he left off the last time Baltimore and Philadelphia faced off by burying a three-pointer just 14 seconds into the match. The three-time Defender-of-the-Year Martinez recorded eight points against Baltimore on January 14 in the KiXX 16-8 win. The assist came from player-coach Don D'Ambra, who went on to put the KiXX up 5-0 on his team-leading 16th goal of the season, assist from who else but Martinez. Reigning MISL MVP Aduato Neto scored his first goal of the season after recovering from a knee injury to put the Blast on the board, 5-2.
Baltimore came out firing in the second quarter taking the lead on back-to-back goals from Matt Watson and Machel Millwood. D'Ambra hammered home his second goal of the night to put the KiXX up by one point, but not before the Blast scored back-to-back goals for the second time from Celenza and Denison Cabral to take the lead, 10-7. Ptah Myers scored his seventh goal of the season with 37 seconds left in the half from D'Ambra to go into the locker room down just one, 10-9. Martinez and D'Ambra combined for 11 points in the first half, while Philadelphia was outs hot 24-6.
The Blast extended their lead in the third quarter to 14-9 with goals from Matt Watson and Machel Millwood, his second. After a too many men call on the Blast bench, John Barry Nusum capitalized on the power-play with his eighth on the season, a three-point goal to pull the KiXX to within two, 14-12. The effort wasn't enough for Philadelphia, as Millwood completed the hat trick for the Blast and Robbie Aristodemo added an empty net goal versus the 6th attacker. Philadelphia was out shot 32-12 in the loss.
First Quarter - Scoring: 3, PHI, Martinez (D’Ambra) :14. 5, PHI, D’Ambra
(Martinez) 10:10. 2, BAL, Neto (Aristodemo) 11:56.
Penalties: Tschanstret, BAL (Dissent) 10:08.
Second Quarter - Scoring: 4, BAL, Watson (Neto) 1:22. 6, BAL, Millwood
(Unassisted) 6:49. 7, PHI, D’Ambra (Martinez) 8:38. 8, BAL, Celenza
Third Quarter - Scoring: 12, BAL, Watson (Tschantret) :29. 14, BAL, Millwood (Lookingland)
Penalties: Bench, PHI, (Too Many Men) 11:20. Delevski, PHI, (Dissent) 11:20. Bench, BAL, (Too Many Men) 12:42.
Fourth Quarter - Scoring: 12, PHI, Nusum (Naumoski) :34. 16, BAL, Millwood (Garcia) 12:05. 19, BAL, Aristodemo (Wakefield) 13:22.
Penalties: D’Ambra, PHI (Pushing) 13:48