TOWSON, MD. – The Baltimore Blast have advanced to the MASL Playoff semifinals after a thrilling victory over the Florida Tropics. After Florida won the first game 14-1, Baltimore stormed back to win the mini-game 3-2 and advance to the Eastern Division Final.
Lucas Roque, Jamie Thomas and Jereme Raley were each inactive for the first game but suited up for the mini game.
Florida got on the board first with a goal by Anthony Arico. Hugo Silva picked up the assist. Moments later, the Tropics took a 2-0 lead courtesy of Victor Parreiras. Ricardo Carvalho recorded the assist.
After a penalty gave the Blast a power play, Moises Gonzalez netted one off the top crossbar to cut the deficit in half. Jonatas Melo picked up the assist on the play. The first quarter ended with Florida ahead 2-1.
Just over two minutes into the second quarter, Florida took another two-goal lead after Thiago Freitas scored on the pass from Parreiras. Less than two minutes later, Baltimore was down 4-1 as they took a timeout. Parreiras scored his second goal of the game. Freitas gave Florida a 5-1 lead with over ten minutes remaining in the half.
Florida led 6-1 at halftime behind three goals from Freitas, two goals, and an assist from Perreiras. At the end of the third, Florida’s lead was 10-1, with Freitas scoring half of the team’s goals. Florida took the second game of the series with a 14-1 win. Freitas and Ricardo Diegues combined for nine points in the game.
The Blast scored in the first minute of the mini-game, with Juan Pereira booting it into the net after the pass from Roque. Just over three minutes later, Drew Ruggles evened the contest at one. Diegues picked up the assist.
Roque picked up a goal with just over four minutes remaining. Thomas picked up the assist as the two provided a spark for the Blast that they could not give in the first game. Two minutes later, Baltimore took a 3-1 lead as Max Ferdinand scored from outside the box, with Ricardinho Sobreira picking up the assist.
Florida refused to go away, scoring a goal with 1:15 remaining to keep the game at a one-goal difference. However, the Tropics could not net another goal in the final minute, and Baltimore won.
The Blast have a weekend off to allow the other side of the bracket to catch up. More information will be sent out about the next series for Baltimore.