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Event Spotlight:
KiXX Topple Heat 10-6 to Maintain Home Unbeaten Streak

Saturday, January 18, 2003

By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer

Breaking recent tradition, the Philadelphia KiXX grabbed the early lead and never let up as the KiXX (17-3) went on to beat the Harrisburg Heat (9-14) in front of 2,934 fans at the First Union Spectrum. The KiXX remain unbeaten at home this season in twelve games and have reeled off ten wins in a row. However, KiXX Head Coach Don D'Ambra was again not pleased with the overall effort.

One of our talks was going at teams and putting them away...we were up 10-2 and they ended up coming back...we need to have the composure and confidence to put away teams.

I think once we went up on them, they lost discipline defensively, said D'Ambra. All they did in the first half was compact the middle of the field making it hard for me and Chris and Shawn to hold the ball up and to find runners...our halftime talk was to get spacing and free up runners...we did that and we scored a few goals and put the pressure on them.

Goran Vasic took advantage of a Harrisburg miscue at 0:51 of the second quarter. Heat goalkeeper failed to make a play on the ball as it came across the box and Vasic was in perfect position to knock it home for the 2-0 lead.

The KiXX took a 4-0 lead on Chris Handsor's ninth goal of the season at 9:25. The play started as Les Lunsford came down the left wing and his shot on goal was stopped but not controlled by Salas. The ball went out to Joel Shanker who hit a streaking Handsor coming through the box.

For Shanker, it was his fourteenth consecutive game with a point, a streak which began on October 26, 2002.

The Heat grabbed the momentum going into the half with a goal by Horacio Robledo bringing the Heat back to within two points with 28.4 seconds to go.

Donnie (KiXX Coach Don D'Ambra) told us that we needed to go out and pressure the goaltender and don't give Harrisburg the chance to score first to tie the game, said Vasic.

An unmarked Tony Mc Peak gave Philadelphia another four-point cushion at 9:06 of the third quarter when he went top shelf with a Vasic rebound. Moments later, Shawn Boney fired high on a penalty shot when Francisco Rodriguez took down Vasic in the box.

The night's scoring machine, Vasic and Handsor, combined late in the third quarter to put Philadelphia up 8-2 at 1:51. A neatly threaded pass to Handsor streaking into the box from Vasic coming down the wing, left Heat goalkeeper Raul Salas defenseless.

A goal by D'Ambra made it 10-2 but the Heat were not quite ready to call it a night.

Chris Morman made it 10-4 with 4:38 to go in the game beating Pappas from just inside the two point arc. With the sixth attacker on and Stuart Dobson in net for Peter Pappas, Harrisburg defenseman Genoni Martinez brought the Heat back to 10-6 with ten seconds to go in the game.

Goalkeeper Peter Pappas (13-2) earned the victory stopping ten shots for the KiXX. Raul Salas (0-6) took the loss and stopped fourteen shots.


This was the fourth meeting between the two intra-state rivals. The KiXX lead the regular season series (17-5 at home and 12-11 on the road). The KiXX are undefeated in two playoff contests against the Heat.

For the latest information on the Philadelphia KiXX, fans can visit the team's website at: or call 888.888.KiXX to purchase tickets for an upcoming KiXX game.

Listen each Tuesday between 4:30-6:00 PM to Inside the KiXX on The Topcat Sports Show on Philadelphia's Renaissance Radio Station, WNJC1360-AM. Inside the KiXX features player interviews, news on the team and your chance to win tickets to see the defending Major Indoor Soccer League Champions.

Photos by Pedro Cancel

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