TOWSON, MD. – The Baltimore Blast will have home-field advantage in the first round of the MASL Playoffs after a convincing win on Sunday night.
Jonatas Melo's hat trick gave Baltimore (12-7-3) a 6-0 win over the Mesquite Outlaws (11-9-2). The shutout is Baltimore's first since Dec. 28, 2019.
The Blast got on the board first after a shot by Juan Pereira was saved but fell right to Moises Gonzalez. The game's first goal came just over halfway through the first quarter. Baltimore scored its second goal in a similar fashion as a rebounded shot by Gonzalez found its way to Melo, who put the Blast up 2-0 by the end of the first quarter.
Melo scored his second goal of the afternoon after a nifty move to get past his defender and put the ball through a tight window between the goalpost and Mesquite goalkeeper Eduardo Cortes. The Blast took a 3-0 lead.
Baltimore led 3-0 at the break, led by Melo's two goals and Gonzalez's goal and assist. Goalkeeper Mike Zierhoffer, who has played the last two games in place of William Vanzela, recorded a shut-out half while saving nine shots.
The Blast lead expanded in the third quarter as Pereira put one in the back of the net after the pass from Max Ferdinand. The rest of the quarter was quiet, and the Blast took its 4-0 lead into the final quarter.
Melo picked up his third goal of the night to give him a hat trick on the night. The Blast took a 5-0 lead with 5:33 remaining in the final quarter. After the goal, Mesquite brought in a sixth attacker. After a save, Zierhoffer launched the ball down the pitch and scored a goal, the first of his career.
The game ended with Baltimore winning 6-0. The team has one more regular season game before the playoffs. The Blast travel to Utica City for a game on April 1 at 7:05 p.m.