PARK CITY — Jamar Beasley responded to a pleasantry after the Wings' 12-6 home loss to Baltimore on Saturday night with, "I've been better," then offered a reason Wichita can be encouraged in spite of their 0-4 record — he has also been worse.
Beasley has seen more difficult situations improve with time. He played for the Missouri Comets last season and saw them go 0-8 to start the 24-game season before they reached the MISL semifinals.
Beasley appears intent on being a part of another such turnaround. His energy helped spark the Wings early, but they couldn't overcome a pair of three-point goals by the Blast in the second quarter.
"The one big thing is we've got to keep the course," Beasley said. "Keep eliminating some of the mistakes that we're making, that's all. The only way we can do that is to keep playing the games. At the same time, we can't make excuses."
The Wings were the aggressors early, using crisp, accurate passes to create numerous scoring opportunities that ended in shots narrowly missing.
Wichita's inability to capitalize on the energetic start became more glaring as Baltimore's efficient offense allowed the Blast to take a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
"I wouldn't say it was discouraging," Wings coach LeBaron Hollimon said. "We played a good team and they're extremely organized."
Beasley rallied the Wings with a pair of two-point goals to tie it in the second. To start Wichita's scoring, he knocked in a header that bounced over the head of Baltimore goalkeeper Sagu.
Minutes later, Beasley rebounded a shot off the boards to put in the equalizer, giving the Wings renewed fuel after their frenzied first quarter produced no goals.
The Wings couldn't grab the lead and the tie was short-lived. Three minutes after Beasley's goal, Neto pulled up beyond the three-point arc and lined a shot into the right side of the goal, producing velocity that allowed the ball to cut through Wichita's defense.
Baltimore took a six-point lead late in the half when Pat Healey scored from 40 yards on a restart, placing the shot perfectly into the upper right corner of the net and giving Sanaldo Carvalho no chance at saving it.
"To be honest, those two three-pointers, that did deflate us," Beasley said. "But as Coach always tells us, that's the difference between good teams and great teams. We can't get down."
If the two three-pointers were deflating, Wichita's failure to score on a 5-on-3 advantage for nearly a minute in the third quarter took the air completely out of their chances of a comeback.
The closest Wichita came to scoring during that 57-second stretch came when Mulai Jobe's shot went off the boards inches away from the goal.
The Wings didn't score again until the fourth, getting shut-out in the first and third quarters with chances to build strong halves.
Wichita failed to score more than three goals for the second time in four games. Their offensive lapses might be less noticeable if they weren't accompanied by similar problems from the defense, which has allowed double-digit points in every game.
"It's not like we're not creating chances," Hollimon said. "We had chances to score. We've got to get better defensively, period, point-blank."
Baltimore4 6 2 0— 12 Home0 4 0 2 —6
Scoring—1. Baltimore, Myers (Neto), 3:21; 2. Baltimore, Garcia (unassisted), 11:05. Penalties—None.
Scoring—3. Wichita, Beasley (Farias), 3:15; 4. Wichita, Beasley (Jobe), 7:40; 5. Baltimore, Neto 3-pt. (unassisted), 10:56; 6. Baltimore, Healey 3-pt. (unassisted), 13:39. Penalties—Baltimore, Noone (tripping), 13:42.
Scoring—7. Baltimore, Ferdinand (unassisted), 13:14. Penalties—Wichita, Worley (tripping), 2:10; Baltimore, Garcia (striking), 5:02; Baltimore, Watson (boarding), 6:06; Wichita, Moseley (striking), 10:35; Wichita, Ten Eyck (tripping), 13:03.
Scoring—8. Wichita, Farias (Lemons), 2:21. Penalties—Wichita, Worley (boarding), 7:52.
Shots—Baltimore 23, Wichita 24.
Saves—Baltimore, Sagu 13; Wichita, Carvalho 9.