Indoor soccer can be crazy. In the regular season, the Baltimore Blast lost to the Missouri Comets three separate times. That didn't exactly bode well for the team's chances against Missouri in a semifinal matchup to determine who would advance to the Ron Newman Cup championship—even if they'd lost all three games by a collective four goals.
On March 24, the Blast finally got the monkey off their back, beating the Comets 4-3 in Game 1 of the semifinals in Missouri. Juan Pereira scored the game-winning goal six seconds into overtime off of a long pass from defender Pat Healey.
In Game 2, it looked like Missouri was returning to form, staking themselves a 2-0 lead at halftime and then extending it to 3-0 in the third quarter. By the start of the fourth, it was 3-1.
It looked for certain the series would have to be decided with a mini game—basically, another half of soccer. But the Blast continued to battle, almost willing themselves back into the game. As I wrote in a cover story from February, the Blast may not have the acclaim or big paychecks of the Ravens and Orioles, but they still bust ass.
Onua Obasi made it 3-2. The crowd in Royal Farms Arena was not huge, but it was getting loud. Then, with 1:14 left in regulation, Lucas Roque tied it up. The arena was electric.
Following a scoreless overtime period, it was again Roque, sending a header into the net. 4-3 final.
The Blast will face Soles De Sonora in the championship. Game 1 is on April 10 at 6:05 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena.