Jean Harbor and the unbeaten Maryland Bays had too much of everything for the Tampa Bay Rowdies last night before a packed house of 3,231 at Cedar Lane Park.
Harbor had one goal and two assists, and the Bays defense put it all together for the first time this season on the way to a 3-0 victory over the Rowdies and U.S. national team captain Peter Vermes.
Harbor has an American Professional Soccer League-leadinfour goals and three assists in four games.
Harbor outran the Tampa Bay defense most of the night anflirted with several scoring opportunities in the first half before taking part in all three Bays (4-0) goals in the second half.
Harbor set up Brian Haynes and Kevin Sloan for goals in the firs10 minutes of the second half and then scored Maryland's third goal with 30 seconds left in the game.
More than 1,400 in the crowd were participants in the ColumbiInvitational tournament that is regarded as one of the premier youth tourneys in the United States. The tournament will continue today and tomorrow.
Harbor showed the young players a little bit of everything lasnight, easily winning the duel with Vermes. Vermes had only two shots and wasn't a major factor in the Tampa Bay (1-3) offense.
While Harbor took care of the offense, the Bays defense washarp after a team meeting to fix some of the problems that had hindered it this season.
Bays defender Chris Reif said: "The defensive players had meeting before the game, and we decided to play for ourselves. It was a night for the defense to stand up, and we did."
Maryland coach Gary Hindley had been unhappy with the play ohis defense in the first three games, but after last night's game he said: "We had good concentration and very few defensive lapses. It was the best 90 minutes we've played all season."
Hindley called it a "a nice show in front of a great crowd. It waimportant that we continued to press and get that extra point [the late goal by Harbor gave Maryland nine points in the standings for the victory]."
Hindley also said, "I think it's worth noting that this effort camagainst the best team we've played all year."
Although their record doesn't indicate it, the Rowdies do have lot of talented players in addition to Vermes, including some stars from Major Soccer League.
Last night, it seemed as if the Tampa Bay offense centered oformer Baltimore Blast stars David Byrne and Peter Ward and Wichita Wings standouts Chico Moreira and Perry Van Der Beck.
Ward and Moreira had chances to score in the first half when thgame was scoreless.