by Austin David

KISSIMMEE, FL – The Orlando SeaWolves took on the defending champions on Friday night and after going into halftime level, fell to the Baltimore Blast 4-1.

“They’re three-time defending champions and they’re a very good team,” said Head Coach Tom Traxler after the game. “We’ve played three games. We’ve shown that we can defend in this league and we can defend very well. I’m sure they’ll tell you we gave them a hard time tonight defensively.

We need to be better in possession but that’s going to come with chemistry. We’re a new team together. We’ve had three games. They’ve had 3,000 games. That’s a great club and you can’t take anything away from them.”

Orlando started the match on the front foot, converting a breakaway goal thanks to Luiz Mota. Eduardo Cruz was able to find Mota over the top and off the volley, the defender was able to convert the early chance. 

After taking the lead, Andrew Hoxie was able to equalize for Baltimore after scoring off a set piece in the second quarter and the teams went into the halftime break all tied up at one.

The second half started and it was all Baltimore. Josh Hughes scored the go-ahead goal just three minutes into the third quarter before Juan Pereira doubled the lead four minutes later.

The Blast would eventually add a fourth late in the fourth quarter off a penalty and despite Orlando putting on the pressure, they could not find the back of the net and the final buzzer sounded with a three-goal deficit to the home team.

Despite the loss, goalkeeper Rainer Hauss recorded 15 saves in a stellar performance that kept Orlando within reach throughout the game. 

“They know where they have to be and they know what to do at the right time,” Hauss said of the Blast. “Definitely Baltimore is a team that will punish whoever is playing against them and has little mistakes. It takes like one second for them to get into space and score a goal. I think we defended well but we need a little more offense.”

The SeaWolves will now play their last game of a three-game homestand on Saturday, December 22 at 7:35 p.m. EST as they host the Mississauga MetroStars.