The Major Arena Soccer League Eastern Conference Finals were held over the weekend between the Missouri Comets and the Baltimore Blast. The number one seed and undefeated Central Division Champions Missouri Comets won their bracket by eliminating the Milwaukee Wave on March 12th 8-2. Second seed and Eastern Division Champions Baltimore Blast defeated the Rochester Lancers on March 11th 6-4. The two best teams of the Eastern Conference were set to face off in what would surely be a battle of former Major Indoor Soccer League clubs for the chance to hoist the Ron Newman Cup.
Game one was held on March 13th at the Royal Farms Arena, the Baltimore Blast hosting the Missouri Comets (multi-point scoring format was used only in the first game). The Comets scored first with a goal by Alain Mantigou in the thirteenth minute of the first period. Baltimore’s Adriano Dos Santos scored an equalizer in the second period at the fourteenth minute with both clubs heading into the half with the score tied at 2-2. The Blast broke the tie in the third period when midfielder Tony Donatelli scored a goal in the twelfth minute giving them a 4-2 lead. Baltimore added to their lead in the fourth period when Lucas Roque kicked in a goal in the third minute making it a 6-2 game. Missouri added a late goal with a score from Leo Gibson late in the period but it wasn’t enough as the Blast take game one 6-4.
Game two took place at the Independence Events Center yesterday, March 15th. The Comets were looking to tie the game and force a third game whilst the Blast wanted to finish off their opponent and win the Eastern Conference crown. Missouri drew first blood when midfielder Kiel Williams scored in the eleventh minute of the first period. Baltimore would score three straight goals giving them a 3-1 advantage midway in the second. The Comets would rally to score two more goals before the Blast would score again ending the half at 4-3.
Both clubs brought out their firepower in the second half as they would combine for ten goals. Baltimore would outscore Missouri 3-2 in both periods as the home team couldn’t find an answer on how to curb the offensive attack of Vini Dantas who recorded a hat trick in the second half. Comets defender Josh Gardner helped his club with a brace but it wasn’t enough to stop the Baltimore juggernaut as they swept the series 2-0. The ending of the game was marred when Comets defender Andre Braithwaite headbutted Blast defender Pat Healey.
The Baltimore Blast will now face off against the Monterrey Flash in the 2015 Major Arena Soccer League finals for the Ron Newman Cup.