Saturday, December 3, 2005
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (2-2) recorded a season-high six goals in the fourth quarter en route to a 10-5 victory versus the expansion California Cougars in front of 5,178 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum tonight. Philadelphia native Tim O’Neill registered the game winner, unassisted, at 1:40 of the fourth period. Peter Pappas (2-2) earned the victory between the posts for Philadelphia, turning away 12 of the 17 shots he faced, while Jim Larkin (0-2) took the loss for the Cougars with 18 saves on 27 chances.
California’s Ato Leone opened the scoring with a tally from Aaron Susi at 2:20 of the first quarter, but KiXX forward John Barry Nusum quickly responded with a notch on a pass from teammate Drew Kopp to knot the score, 1-1, at 2:44. The Cougars regained their one-goal advantage, 2-1, as midfielder Brian Farber connected with Philadelphia native Anthony Maher at 5:24 of the stanza. Holy Ghost Prep graduate Chris Fehrle then buried a shot a foot behind the yellow line into the back of the net to again pull the clubs even, 2-2, at 9:42. Philadelphia player/coach Don D’Ambra recorded the assist on the play. With only 16 seconds remaining in the opening period, Cougars midfielder Ronnie Ekelund found the back of the net on a feed from Antonio Sutton, giving California a 3-2 lead.
After 10 minutes of scoreless action (10:10) in the second quarter, Philadelphia native Pat Morris sliced the Cougars defense with a pass to teammate Goran Vasic, who easily deposited the ball past Larkin and into the back of the net for his first goal (fourth point) of the season.
Sutton recorded his second assist of the evening, this time to Ricardinho who put California back ahead one, 4-3, at 1:42 of the third period. With Maher in the penalty box after being called for a two-minute tripping infraction, D’Ambra blasted a right-footer just inside the far post to knot the score, 4-4, at 8:05. The tally marked the club’s first power-play goal of the season after previously going scoreless on their first three man-advantage situations.
Philadelphia’s offensive exploded for four unanswered goals to open the final quarter of play and take an 8-4 lead, before Maher finally halted the scoring assault with a score on a pass from Ekelund at 6:36. Kopp struck first on a feed from Guastaferro less than minute into the period (0:52), followed by unassisted tallies from Philadelphia natives Tim O’Neill (1:40) and David Castellanos (3:11). Forward Shawn Boney rounded out the scoring on a pass from Vasic at 4:07. Vasic and Kopp sealed the victory, 10-5, with their second tallies of the evening at 9:47 and 13:39, respectively.
*Notes:* Philadelphia native Steve Wacker and midfielder David Schofield each made their professional indoor debut tonight. John Barry Nusum and Goran Vasic all have recorded at least one point in each of the team’s four contests this season; Vasic finished the contest with a season-high three points on two goals and one assist. The KiXX recorded a season-high six goals in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia connected on their first power-play goal of the season when player/coach Don D’Ambra drilled home a pass from Andy Guastaferro at 8:05 of the third period; the club was previously scoreless on three man-advantage opportunities this season.
Philadelphia: 2-1-1-6=10 Shots: 37
California: 3-0-1-1=5 Shots: 23
The KiXX next embark on their first set of back-to-back games, commencing with a trip to the U.S. Cellular Arena to battle the defending Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Champion Milwaukee Wave on Friday, December 9. The contest is scheduled to kick-off at 8:05 pm ET.