Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MISL Round Up Week 4

Article by Nicholas Murray

Baltimore continues to roll on, Wichita earns its first victory, and a look at how fast starts have proved crucial in finding success this season as the MISL finishes the fourth week of its season.


If you believe Facebook comments, there was some nervousness within the Baltimore Blast’s fan-base after their season-opening defeat to the Syracuse Silver Knights. With a number of new players, and some key figures retired, the question was whether the Blast had sufficiently restocked the cupboard for the new campaign.

After four consecutive victories, all on the road, suffice to say those concerns have been allayed. The Blast put together strong back-to-back performances against the two teams who appeared as though they could challenge for the Eastern Division title. Particularly impressive was the 26-9 victory against Rochester on Saturday night, which saw Adauto Neto score a hat trick and the Blast hold a 12-3 lead after the first quarter.

Baltimore returns to Rochester this Saturday looking for more before heading home for a three-game home stand. With Sagu appearing in strong early-season form, and Max Ferdinand averaging three points-per game, the Blast’s position as preseason division favorites appears to have been solidified.


The Blast’s victory against Rochester was indicative of a trend that has seen front-runners prove difficult to overturn so far this season. And as it turned out, the Blast used exactly the same technique as the Lancers had to earn their first two victories of the season against Syracuse.

In both contests, including last Wednesday’s victory against the Silver Knights, the Lancers jumped out to a big early lead, holding an 8-2 advantage after the first quarter and 10-2 at halftime. In both games the Silver Knights rallied strongly after the break, getting within two points after Jeff Hughes’ back-to-back goals in the third quarter, but the Lancers were able to stabilize and pull away for a 22-13 victory.

The same applied in the Milwaukee Wave’s victory against the Wichita Wings, where the Wave led 3-0 after the first quarter and 11-0 at halftime. While the Wings were able to mount a fourth-quarter rally, the deficit was too much to overcome and the Wave remained undefeated 13-10.

Other contests have gone back and forth, Milwaukee’s 11-6 victory being the obvious example where the two teams took turns scoring in alternate quarters on November 20. But the lesson most teams are learning that big deficits are difficult to climb back from, and fast starts are a big key to success.


It’s been a tough opening to the season for Wichita, but they earned their first win of the season against Norfolk last week as Jamar Beasley scored twice in front of his younger brother, Damarcus, in a 16-11 victory. Faced with tough opposition in the Central Division, and coming close against both the Milwaukee Wave and Missouri Comets, the Wings will try to build on their first win as they host another pair of first-year teams, Syracuse and Norfolk, at Hartman Arena.
As for the SharX, who are now the lone winless team in the league, things do appear to be moving in the right direction. The SharX put in a strong second-half performance against the Wings, outscoring their opponents 9-8, and then played well against the Comets as the teams went to the halftime break tied 7-7.

The SharX have added reinforcements, with Richmond Kickers standout Yomby William making his debut last weekend, and more may be on the way soon. As with other expansion teams the SharX have had a steep learning curve when it comes to the MISL, Missouri opened last season 1-6, but the steps the team has taken in the last week would appear to indicate they are on the right track.

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