by Jim Fossell

3/22/15 – MONTERREY, MX

The Baltimore Blast won Game 2, 6-4, to force a mini-game, and scored with two seconds left in the mini-game to force overtime, but the Monterrey Flash won the Ron Newman Cup in sudden death overtime on a goal by Gustavo Rosales before an MASL playoff record 8,783 fans at Arena Monterrey. Rosales was named Playoff MVP.

Game 2 got off to a slow start with no goals recorded in the opening quarter after the teams grinded to a double overtime battle in Game 1 in Baltimore Friday. Both teams played solid defensively and held each other scoreless.

Late in the second quarter the Blast were able to strike first when Tony Donatelli beat Flash keeper Diego Reynoso with a great shot giving the Blast a 1-0 lead. This was Dontatelli’s team leading 7th point of the postseason. At the half the Blast led 1-0.

In the second half both teams came out focusing on controlling possession and playing solid defense. The Monterrey Flash tied the game at 1 at the 11:29 mark with a goal from Angel Curiel. The teams entered the final quarter tied 1-1.

Monterrey began the fourth quarter with back-to-back goals only 27 seconds apart. Erick Flores and Edgar Flores found the back of the net putting the Flash up 3-1. The Blast would answer when Donatelli recorded his second goal of the game off an assist from Adriano Dos Santos at the 6:12 mark. After the Donatelli goal the Blast offense woke up with three consecutive goals. Juan Pereira scored at the 7:14 mark assisted by Lucio Gonzaga. Then the Blast would score back-to-back goals within 12 seconds from Max Ferdinand and Lucas Roque. The Flash would pull back within one when Genoni Martinez scored a goal off a free kick at the 11:05 mark. After a scramble in front of the net Lucas Roque was able to kick in a loose ball extending the lead to 6-4, sealing a Blast victory. The Blast would win game two 6-4 and force a 15 minute “mini-game” to determine the MASL Ron Newman Cup champion. William Vanzela recorded 14 saves in the game while Donatelli and Roque each recorded two goals for the Blast.

Both teams came out with high intensity during the mini game. The Blast would take an early lead when Diego Zuniga fired a shot that beat the Flash keeper at the 1:07 mark. Armando Teran scored for the Flash to tie the game at 1-1 off an assist from Erick Flores. The Blast would regain the lead at the 5:39 mark when Vini Dantas scored a goal off an assist from Adriano Dos Santos. With 3:13 remaining in the game Hector Vallejo recorded a goal for the Flash to tie the game at 2-2 and Erick Tovar scored 36 seconds later to give the Flash a 3-2 lead. As the clock was winding down the Blast brought on the 6th attacker and with only two seconds left in the game Lucas Roque was able to get a rebound and put it into the back of the net tying the game and sending the MASL Championship into overtime.

In the golden goal overtime, Monterrey controlled much of the possession and Gustavo Rosales scored on a rebound of an Erick Tovar shot for the game winner making the Monterrey Flash 2015 Ron Newman Cup MASL Champions. The final score of Game 3 was 4-3 in favor of the Flash.

The Blast fall to 22-4 on the season and 4-2 in the playoffs. Vini Dantas and Lucas Roque recorded goals in the mini game for the Blast while William Vanzela recorded 4 saves. The Flash finish the year 23-3 after going 5-1 in the playoffs.

About Major Arena Soccer League and Premier Arena Soccer League

The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) is the top level of arena soccer in North America. The league, originally known as the Professional Arena Soccer League, began play on October 25, 2008. On May 19, 2014 the league partnered with six teams from the former Major Indoor Soccer League and was reintroduced as the MASL with 22 teams in the US and Mexico. The 2014/15 season runs from October 25 to March 1 followed by the Ron Newman Cup playoffs. The Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) just concluded the winter portion of its 17th season as the nation’s top amateur arena soccer league and is the official developmental league of the MASL. Both the MASL and PASL are members of Confederacion Panamerica de Minifutbol (CPM).