The Baltimore Blast struggled to find the net against defending MISL champions the Milwaukee Wave Friday night in Baltimore, despite out-shooting their rivals 23-10.
The Wave went on to win Game 1 of the three-game series 14-2, utilizing a compact defensive formation, which set up for a punishing counter-attack.
The Blast controlled most of the game, owning 65 percent of possession, but a hat-trick from Wave midfield/forward Marcio Leite sealed Game 1 for the defending champions.
Blast Head coach Danny Kelly gave his team a "B" grade, showing improvement over their final showdown from 2011. The Wave used similar tactics to win the championship last year.
"In this game, if you don't finish your chances, you're not going to win games," Kelly, a five-time former MISL all-star player. "In my mind I think if we finish those chances then we win the game."
Watch the video for highlights and commentary from Head coach Danny Kelly.
Baltimore Sun reporter Glenn Graham has the full print recap of Friday night's game.
The Blast will travel to Milwaukee Sunday for a 4:10 p.m. kick-off. If the Blast wins Game 2, both teams will play a 15-minute tiebreaker game.
Can the Blast bring the MISL Championship back to Baltimore? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.