Maryland Bays coach Gary Hindley returned home to New Jersey last Saturday when the Bays beat the Penn-Jersey Spirit, 4-2.
Now after a 50-day absence, the Bays return home to Cedar Lane Park in Columbia for tonight's game against the Spirit.
"It's a great setting to play in," Hindley said. "The fans are so close to the field. You can feel the closeness of the people."
The Bays have an 11-2 lifetime record at Cedar Lane Park and have averaged 2,942 fans per game this season.
Bays goalkeeper Steve Powers said the atmosphere at Cedar Lane Park helps the players.
"It's electric," Powers said. "The fans are right on the field, and it gives the players a boost."
That's what the Bays may need after their last road trip, when they split two games.
"We really didn't play with enough energy at Penn-Jersey," Hindley said of the last meeting between the two teams.
One day after the Penn-Jersey game, the Bays lost to the Albany Capitals, 3-0.
The last time the Bays were shut out was June 30, 1990, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the Strikers beat them, 3-0.
"We actually played quite well. The difference in that game was their goalkeeper," Hindley said of the loss to the Capitals. "He took three balls that were sure goals."
Capitals goalkeeper Scoop Stanisic, formerly of the Baltimore Blast, had 12 saves against the Bays.
Sunday's game in Albany was Bays goalkeeper Warren Westcoat's first start of the season.
"I thought he did quite well," Hindley said.
"I thought he did great under the circumstances," Powers said. "The score could have been a lot higher. It's a shame his first
game wasn't a better team effort."
The Bays have allowed 17 goals this season, but have allowed eight goals in their past three games [San Francisco, Penn-Jersey and Albany].
After tonight, the Bays' next home game will be an exhibition Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against English League Cup champions Sheffield Wednesday.