KiXX Blast Baltimore 9-3
All-Stars D'Ambra And Morris Combine For Seven Points
Saturday, February 7, 2004
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (14-8) defeated the defending Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Champion Baltimore Blast tonight, 9-3, in front of 7,142 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum. KiXX captain Kevin Sloan recorded the game winner at 4:17 of the second quarter. With the victory, Philadelphia pulls within two and one-half games of the Blast for the top spot in the Eastern Division. Peter Pappas (13-6) earned the victory in net for Philadelphia, turning away 24 of the 27 shots he faced, while Scott Hileman (17-7) took the loss for Baltimore, stopping 17 of 22 chances.
Philadelphia jumped to an early 2-0 lead, courtesy of a pair of restart goals, after one full quarter of action. Defender Pat Morris blasted a pass from forward Goran Vasic at 2:44, followed by a big left-footer from the top of the arc from player/coach Don D’Ambra at 3:58.
D’Ambra extended the KiXX lead to three, 3-0, with his second notch of the evening on a pass off the walls from teammate Andy Guastaferro at the four-minute mark of the second period. After Hileman was sent to bench for a two-minute tripping penalty, team captain Kevin Sloan converted a shoot-out opportunity with Blast defender Neil Gilbert between the pipes at 4:17 of the stanza. Less than two minutes later (6:08), Tony McPeak registered his first goal of the season on a dish from Morris to lengthen the club’s lead to five, 5-0. D’Ambra completed the hat-trick, his second consecutive home game and 22nd in his career with at least three or more goals, with a blast just inside the far post past Hileman at 10:51 of the second. Baltimore finally broke the scoreless drought, as David Bascome found the back of the net on a feed from former KiXX forward Chris Handsor with only one second (14:49) remaining in the half. Philadelphia held the 6-1 advantage after two full periods of play.
Baltimore’s Carlos Farias scorched a pass through the box to set up teammate Rich Daughtridge with an easy tap-in goal at 11:27 to pull the Blast within four, 6-2. Defender Drew Kopp regained the club’s six-point advantage, 7-2, connecting off his own rebound with a full-length dive to head the ball past Hileman with a mere six seconds remaining in the third period. The five-point Philadelphia lead held entering the final quarter of action.
Kopp connected on his second breakaway goal off the contest at 4:17 of the fourth on a centering pass from Morris. With Bascome serving as sixth-attacker for Baltimore, KiXX forward Joel Shanker notched an empty net goal to extend the team’s lead to seven, 9-2, at 12:19 of the period. Pappas added the assist on the play. Lee Tschantret tallied a goal at 14:34 from Farias, but Philadelphia held on to defeat the defending champs, 9-2.
Notes: Midfielder David DiPlacido made his professional indoor debut tonight. Philadelphia inked the 26-year old native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada to a contract through the remainder of the current 2003-04 campaign on February 3. Kopp recorded a season-high two points tonight on a pair of breakaway goals. Philadelphia improves to 6-1 this season versus divisional opponents, Baltimore and Cleveland.
Philadelphia: 2-4-1-2=9 Shots: 19
Baltimore: 0-1-1-1=3 Shots: 44
The club concludes the back-to-back set with a visit to Milwaukee to battle the League-leading Milwaukee Wave on Sunday, February 8. Game-time at U.S. Cellular Arena is scheduled for 2:05 pm ET. The KiXX then return to the Wachovia Spectrum to entertain Eastern Division foe, the Cleveland Force, in their Ninth Annual School Day Game on Wednesday, February 11. The day proves to be an educational field trip for area schools to enjoy themselves at an exciting, fast-paced soccer game, while participating in “Goals for Success: Read with the KiXX.” Game-time is scheduled for 10:35 am ET. For more information or to purchase tickets for any remaining KiXX home contest, contact the club’s Executive Office at 1-888-888-KiXX (5499).
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