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Soccer Spotlight:
KiXX Eliminated From 2004 MISL Playoffs By Kansas City 8-5
D'Ambra's Four-Goal Performance Falls Short As Club Falls To Comets In MISL Quarterfinal

Saturday, April 10, 2004

By David Deal
Philadelphia KiXX Director of Communitions

The Philadelphia KiXX (0-1) were eliminated from the 2004 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Playoffs with a 8-5 loss to the Kansas City Comets (1-0) in the one-game quarterfinal match tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum. KiXX player/coach notched a game-high four goals in front of 4,573 patrons. Craig Scheer registered the game winner on an assist from Miodrag Djerisilo at 9:12 of the fourth quarter. Peter Pappas (0-1) took the loss between the posts for Philadelphia with six saves on 13 shots, while Sanaldo (1-0) earned the victory for the Comets, stopping 11 of the 16 shots he faced.

KiXX player/coach Don D’Ambra provided the club an early lead, 1-0, blasting a rebound from team captain Kevin Sloan past Sanaldo and into the back of the net at 7:09 of the opening quarter. With only five seconds remaining in the period (14:55), Kansas City’s Sandre Naumoski connected with teammate Miodrag Djersilio to send the action into the second quarter with the score knotted at 1-1.

D’Ambra wasted little time in the second quarter, notching his second tally of the evening on a dish from newcomer David DiPlacido a mere 10 seconds into the stanza. After D’Ambra was sent to the penalty box for a two-minute boarding infraction, Comets defender Jeff Davis registered a power-play goal from fellow backliner Vlatko Andonovski to tie the game, 2-2, at 5:30 of the period. Philadelphia fell victim to the man advantage again, as Andonovski found Davis again for the second time of the contest to hand Kansas City their first lead, 3-2, at 7:08; the Comets received their second power-play opportunity courtesy of a KiXX two-minute penalty for having too many men on the field. The KiXX received their first power-play opportunity at 7:30 thanks to a two-minute holding penalty on Comets’ Jake Dancy. Sloan quickly knotted the score, 3-3, with a restart tally from team points-leader Goran Vasic just two seconds (7:32) into the man-advantage situation. Nate Houser concluded the second-quarter scoring with a notch from Casey Barton with 37 seconds remaining in the half; the score gave the Comets a 4-3 advantage after two full periods of play.

Midfielder Craig Scheer lengthened the Kansas City lead to two, 5-3, on a feed from 11-year veteran Wes Wade at 5:14 of the third period. D’Ambra completed the hat trick, his third goal of the game, on a restart tally from Vasic at 6:25. Philadelphia, who posted a 0-14 mark when trailing entering the final period of play in the regular season, entered tonight’s final stanza trailing the Comets by one, 5-4.

D’Ambra knotted the score even, 5-5, with his fourth tally of the night at 7:21 of the fourth quarter. KiXX forward Joel Shanker recorded the assist on the play. Scheer quickly responded with his second notch of the game on an assist from Djersilio to again put Philadelphia down one, 6-5, at 7:21. Houser added to the Comets advantage, 7-5, on a dish from Djersilio at 10:43 of the period. Brian Soell sealed the Kansas City victory, 8-5, with an empty netter from Davis at 12:41.

Attendance: 4,753

Philadelphia: 1-2-1-1=5 Shots: 30
Goalkeepers: Pappas (L, six saves).
Scorers: D’Ambra (four goals), Sloan (goal, assist), Vasic (two assists), DiPlacido (assist), Shanker (assist).

Kansas City: 1-3-1-3=8 Shots: 20
Goalkeepers: Sanaldo (W, 11 saves)
Scorers: Davis (two goals, assist), Djersilio (three assists), Andonovski (two assists), Houser (two goals), Scheer (two goals), Barton (assist), Naumoski (goal), Soell (goal), Wade (assist).

Kansas City advances to the semifinals, where depending on the outcome of the Dallas Sidekicks-Cleveland Force game in the other quarterfinal tonight, will travel to either Milwaukee to battle the battle the top-seeded Wave or square-off versus the defending champion Blast in Baltimore. Both games are scheduled for Friday, April 16.

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