Soul Eliminated from Playoffs as Blast Collect 10-7 Victory
BALTIMORE -- The Chicago Soul's inaugural season came to a close on Saturday night at the 1st Mariner Arena as the Baltimore Blast assembled a second-half rally that earned them a 10-7 victory and a return to the MISL Finals. The Soul got off to a promising start, holding the Blast scoreless in the first half, but Baltimore came powering back in the second half to spoil Chicago's chances at the title.
"I'm still proud of the guys," said Soul Head Coach Novi Marojevic. "They dominated and played strong defense for almost three quarters. They gave up a few goals due to mental mistakes in the third quarter that shifted the momentum, but for the most part, they stuck to the plan and did a great job.
"Baltimore also did great. They're an excellent team and deserve to be in the Finals. I wish them all the best."
The Soul got Game 2 of the MISL Semifinals going on a positive note as Fred Degand found the net with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter, allowing Chicago to take a slim 2-0 lead over Baltimore. Thanks to a strong defensive performance by Chicago, the Soul were able to keep the Blast scoreless through the second quarter and hang on to the 2-0 advantage at halftime.
The second half proved to be a different story for the Soul, despite getting off to another solid start on a 3-point goal from Pablo that gave them a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The Blast quickly retaliated with five consecutive goals to put them ahead. First, Ptah Myers put an end to Baltimore's scoring drought as he fed a ball to the net to cut Chicago's lead to 5-2. Lucas Roque made it a one-point game, following up with a goal of his own. Adauto Neto struck moments later to give the Blast their first lead of the game. J.T. Noone extended that lead to 8-5 shortly after, and Machel Millwood doubled Baltimore's lead as he fired a ball past Chicago's Jeff Richey before the period came to a close.
The fourth quarter sparked some hope for the Soul near the end when Carlos "Chile" Farias was pulled in as the sixth attacker to draw some offensive power. Degand managed to score his second goal of the night to trim the Blast's lead to 10-7, but the clock wound down and Chicago simply could not come up with more answers in time. The Soul went on to drop their second game of the series against the Blast and become eliminated from the playoffs.
"I still consider it a big accomplishment for the team and the whole organization to make it to the playoffs in the first year," said Marojevic. "A lot of people doubted us and didn't believe that we could make it, but that made it even more rewarding. I am glad that we were able to prove people wrong and I'm proud beyond words of the guys, everyone within the organization, and of the city of Chicago. I look forward to battling for the title again next year."
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Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from March 9, 2013
- Soul Eliminated from Playoffs as Blast Collect 10-7 Victory - Chicago Soul FC
- Wave Playoff Game Sunday 3pm US Cellular Arena - Milwaukee Wave
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