Game Recap: Tropics hang tough before Baltimore pulls away late

by Brian Ackley

BALTIMORE – The Florida Tropics SC had trouble getting its offense in gear Friday night as they fell to the defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Baltimore Blast 7-1 before a crowd of 4,121 at Royal Farms Arena.

The Tropics, playing their first road game of the year after opening the season with a 6-5 win over San Diego, hung tough with the Blast for three quarters, but four goals in a span of less than two and a half minutes early in the fourth quarter was the difference.

In all, Baltimore got five goals from five different players in the final frame. Last week, the Tropics used five fourth period goals to rally and defeat San Diego, 6-5.

Florida actually took a 1-0 lead a little over a minute into the second quarter when Lucas Teixeira surprised everyone with a 75-foot bomb for his first goal of the year. But the Blast, now 2-1, countered with goals little more than 90 seconds apart from Jonatas Telo and Tony Donatelli to take a 2-1 lead to the break.

Neither side scored in the third quarter. Baltimore out shot the Tropics, 21-9. Florida netminder Peter Sliwa was particularity sharp in the first half, when the Blast held an 11-3 advantage in shots.

The Tropics, 1-1,  will be on the road next weekend to meet divisional foes Harrisburg and Syracuse before returning the the Lakeland Center on Dec. 3 for a 7:05 p.m. rematch with the Blast, also part of the four-team eastern division.