There was a time when the Baltimore Blast could not seem to break through in the early days of their franchise. Each time they faced the New York Arrows they would come up short but the times have changed and now the Blast are the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) dynasty.
BALTIMORE BLAST 10, MILWAUKEE WAVE 6
In the Eastern Conference final, the Blast jumped out to a commanding 7-3 lead at halftime as Tony Donatelli, Daniel Peruzzi and Adriano Dos Santos scored goals in the second period against the Milwaukee Wave. The Wave stormed back in the third period to close within 7-6. Baltimore’s Vini Dantas took back the momentum as he jumped in front of a Wave clearance attempt and headed a ball past a surprised Josh Lemos into an open goal a minute into the fourth quarter. The Blast scored twice more to seal the win and their fourth trip to the championship game.
MONTERREY FLASH 6, SAN DIEGO SOCKERS 4
The Monterrey Flash broke open a 3-3 game in the Western Conference final against the San Diego Sockers in front of a home crowd of 6,086 fans with goals from Edgar González and Omar Santillan to put the Flash up 5-3. The Sockers outshot Monterrey 8-3 in the fourth period but the Flash weathered the storm and capitalized on some crucial defensive breakdowns to wrap up the win.
The Ron Newman Cup final will be played in Monterrey on March 25th in a rematch of the 2015 final won by the Flash in a thrilling two games to one series. The Flash won the series deciding game 4-3 in overtime. The 2018 final will be a one-game final.
Monterrey posted a league-leading 20-2 record in the regular season. They have outscored their playoff opponents 23-16. The Flash sat out the last two seasons before re-entering the league this season.
Baltimore is seeking their third straight championship. The Blast defeated Sonora Soles in the last two finals winning both deciding games in overtime. Baltimore finished the regular season 17-5. All five losses have been on the road.