Sunday, April 3, 2005
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (20-15) dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the two-time defending Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Champion Baltimore Blast (14-19) in front of 4,275 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum today. Lee Tschantret recorded the game winner on a pass from Giuliano Celenza at 12:01 of the extra stanza. Peter Pappas (17-13) took the loss for the KiXX with eight saves on 12 chances, while Sagu (6-11) earned the win in net for Baltimore, turning away eight of the 11 shots he faced.
After nearly 10 minutes of scoreless action (9:58) in the opening quarter, KiXX player/ coach Don D’Ambra knocked in a pass from teammate Ze Roberto to give Philadelphia an early 1-0 advantage. Just over 30 seconds later (10:31), Baltimore knotted the game at 1-1 as Celenza found the back of the net on an assist from defender Danny Kelly. D’Ambra and Roberto connected again, this time at 13:55 of the stanza, to close out the quarter with the KiXX holding a 2-1 advantage.
Rookie forward Gary Brooks extended the club’s lead, 3-1, with a right-footed blast off a feed from D’Ambra just 28 seconds into the second period, but Blast defender Scott Schweitzer quickly cut the advantage back to one, 3-2, connecting on a restart goal at 1:36.
Kelly notched the only score of the third quarter, a tally on an assist from forward Sipho Sibiya at 8:36, to knot the game at 3-3 entering the final period of play.
Neither team could muster any offense in the final period, as the clubs entered overtime tied, 3-3. Baltimore’s Tschantret finally ended the stalemate, connecting on a pass from Celenza at the 12-minute mark of the extra stanza.
Notes: The clubs combined to go 0-3 on their power-play situations today; Philadelphia failed to connect on either of their two man-advantage opportunities, while the Blast missed out on their lone situation. With the loss, the KiXX fall to 3-4 when forced to the extra stanza this season. Goran Vasic and Kevin Sloan each failed to record a single point tonight, snapping their scoring streaks at seven games. Philadelphia’s magic number to clinch a postseason berth remains at one; any combination of a KiXX win or a Chicago Storm loss and the club will qualify for their ninth consecutive playoff berth. Chicago is in action tonight versus the St. Louis Steamers.
The club next prepares for a home-and-home series versus the League-leading Milwaukee Wave, beginning with a trip to the U.S. Cellular Arena on Friday, April 8. The KiXX then return to the Wachovia Spectrum to complete the series on Saturday, April 9. Friday’s contest is scheduled to kick-off at 8:05 pm ET, while Saturday’s meeting is slated for a 7:05 pm ET start time. 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.