On a night when Jean Harbor came close to becoming the first Maryland Bays player to score a hat trick, the Bays still had to sweat out two sudden-death overtime periods before turning back the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 3-2, on penalty kicks.
Harbor nearly completed a three-goal night with 10 seconds lefin the second 7 1/2 -minute sudden-death overtime when he headed a shot that was just wide left of the goal.
When Harbor failed to connect off a perfect pass from DarryGee, the Bays were forced into a best-of-five penalty-kick shootout to win their American Professional Soccer League home opener before 2,567 at Cedar Lane Park last night.
The Bays (2-0) won the shootout, 4-3, when Fort Lauderdale'Victor Moreland missed on the Strikers' fourth penalty kick. It was the second miss by Fort Lauderdale and made it impossible for the visitors to come back.
The Bays had hit their first four penalty kicks to put the pressuron Fort Lauderdale and Moreland.
Moreland drove the ball wide to the left of the goal post on hisecond try. Moreland was given a second chance when referee Joe Manfre ruled that Bays goalkeeper Steve Powers had moved too soon on Moreland's first attempt.
Powers saved Moreland's first kick.
"I nearly fainted when they gave Moreland a second chance,said Bays coach Gary Hindley.
The Bays lost two points in the standings (four instead of six) fowinning the game on penalty kicks instead of in regulation or sudden-death overtime.
"It was a win-minus," said Hindley. "We had some mix-ups odefense. I've been talking about that for a month. We have a lack of communication at times."
Harbor scored both goals for the Bays and one of their foupenalty kicks. The other three Maryland penalty kicks came from Omid Namizi, George Gelnovatch and Brian Hayness.
For Fort Lauderdale, Miljce Donev missed in addition tMoreland.
Donev missed his penalty kick when he kicked the ball over thcrossbar in Round 2.
Andrew McKay, John Maessner (the Baltimore Blast's fourth-round draft pick from the University of Virginia) and Adrian Gaitan hit penalty kicks for Fort Lauderdale which had won 12 straight regular-season games before losing last night.
After Moreland missed for the Strikers, he quickly left the field.
"I guess he is tired of losing to us," said Gee.
Maryland defeated Fort Lauderdale for the American SocceLeague championship last season, giving the Bays a chance to meet the Western Soccer League champion San Francisco Bay Blackhawks for the APSL title.
The Bays dominated the game early and looked as if they wergoing to run away from the Strikers.
Harbor scored from far out in the corner with six minutes gone ithe game when he drilled a shot that goalkeeper Tony Meola misplayed.
Meola, the U.S. National team goalkeeper, tried to bat the balaway, but it went right in the net.
But the Bays gave a goal right back to Fort Lauderdale whedefender Chris Reif lost control of the ball in a patch of the high turf, and McKay took it from him and put it in the goal to tie the score at 1 at 27:30 of the first half.
Harbor gave the Bays a 2-1 lead with four minutes left in the firshalf when he beat Fort Lauderdale defender Troy Edwards to score.
The 2-1 lead held up until 4:40 left in the game, when the visitorscored a man-down goal just 80 seconds after Steve Pittman had been ejected from the game by Manfre for verbal abuse.
Edwards scored the tying goal for the Strikers.
Fort Lauderdale played a man down the rest of regulation anovertime, but the Bays couldn't take advantage of the situation.
"It always seems to happen like that," said Bays defendeDesmond Armstrong who made his debut for Maryland to a loud ovation in the second half. "You have a tendency to let down a
little as soon as you go up a man."