Saturday, March 26, 2005
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (19-14) secured their hold on second place in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) standings with an 8-2 victory versus the Cleveland Force (16-14) in front of 4,783 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum. KiXX player/assistant coach Kevin Sloan registered the game-winning goal at 12:04 of the second quarter. Peter Pappas (16-12) earned the victory in net for Philadelphia, stopping all eight of the ten shots he faced in the first half, while Jim Larkin (14-12) took the loss for the Force with 12 saves on 18 chances.
Philadelphia notched the only score of the opening period, 1-0, as rookie forward John Barry Nusum deposited an Edgar Bartolomeu rebound off the boards past Larkin and into the back of the net at 1:34 of the quarter.
With Force midfielder Kyt Selaidopoulos in the box serving a two-minute tripping penalty, KiXX player/coach Don D’Ambra extended the club’s advantage to two, 2-0, with a restart goal from teammate Goran Vasic at 2:23 of the second stanza. Kevin Sloan connected with forward Daniel Antoniuk on a nice give-and-go pass off the boards to lengthen the team’s advantage to three, 3-0, at 12:04. Cleveland’s scoreless first half marked the third time this season the KiXX have held their opponent without a goal in two quarters of action; the other occasions were January 8 at Baltimore and February 25 at Cleveland.
Antoniuk blasted in his second goal as a member of the KiXX to further extend Philadelphia’s advantage, 4-0, at 2:08 of the third period, before forward Aaron Susi finally ended Cleveland’s scoring drought with a score off a pass from defender Genoni Martinez at 5:32.
Just over a minute into the final period of action, Nusum netted his second goal of the evening on a dish from Sloan to regain the club’s four-point advantage, 5-1. Sloan then responded with a tally of his own on an assist from midfielder Ze Roberto at 3:08 of the stanza. Cleveland’s Chris Dore connected with Susi to pull the Force back within four, 6-2, at 10:24 of the quarter, but Sloan (12:23) and Bartolomeu (14:15) each notched a pair of goals versus the sixth attacker to seal an 8-2 victory. Sloan’s tally completed his hat trick (three goals), his third of the season and last since the Force were in town on February 5. Bartolomeu’s goal marked the 50th point of his career.
Notes: KiXX rookie forward John Barry Nusum notched a pair of goals tonight and has recorded six points on five goals and one assist in the team’s last two games. Forward Goran Vasic extended his scoring streak to six games with his second-quarter assist to player/coach Don D’Ambra. KiXX player/assistant coach Kevin Sloan also extended his scoring streak to six games, thanks to three goals and one assist; the native of Columbia, Maryland has now registered six points on three goals and three assists in the club’s last two outings.
Philadelphia: 1-2-1-4=8 Shots: 24
Cleveland: 0-0-1-1=2 Shots: 23
The club heads west to battle the St. Louis Steamers at the Saavis Center on Saturday, April 2. The contest is scheduled to kick-off at 8:05 pm ET. Philadelphia then returns to the friendly confines of the Wachovia Spectrum for a visit from the two-time defending Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Champion Baltimore Blast on Sunday, April 3. Game-time is slated for 1:05 pm ET. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please contact the club’s Executive Office at 1-888-888-KiXX (5499) or visit www.kixxonline.com.