FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It was fair to expect that the Maryland Bays and Fort Lauderdale Strikers would treat Lockhart Stadium fans to a high-scoring game last night.
The Bays had scored a league-high 51 goals, and the Strikers had scored 17 goals in their previous three games. But there was only one goal, and it went to the Maryland's Kevin Sloan and gave the Bays a 1-0 win before 2,041 fans.
The win extended the Bays' winning streak against the Strikers to four games, dating back to last year's American Soccer League championship series. Maryland improved to 18-2 and has 149 points. Fort Lauderdale's four-game winning streak ended, and the Strikers and fell to 15-5. They outshot the Bays, 15-6, and had seven corner kicks in a dominant, but goal-less, second half.
"The Strikers have scored a lot of goals lately, and we concentrated a bit more on defense," Maryland coach Gary Hindley said. We were playing a quality team. They had a lot of pressure. We might have snuck this one a bit."
The Bays play the Miami Freedom (6-14) in the Orange Bowl at 8:05 tonight to close the regular season.
Sloan gave the Bays their lead at 26 minutes, 54 seconds with his 11th goal of the season. Sloan got behind a Strikers offside trap at midfield and had a breakaway on goalie Arnie Mausser. Mausser came out to cut down the angle, but Sloan got behind the goalie and tapped in the goal.
The Bays bunkered in with the one-goal lead, keeping eight men in the defensive half to protect goalie Steve Powers. The Strikers took the initiative in the second half and forced Powers to make four diving saves.
Powers kick-saved a blast from 12 yards by Strikers midfielder Moise Derivois in the 56th minute. In the 70th minute Fort Lauderdale's Ivan McKinley forced Powers off his feet with a far post header.
The Strikers best chance came in the 77th minute, when Derivois ran to the touch line and crossed to a running Paul Dougherty. The pass got behind Powers, and Dougherty stretched for a left-footed shot that was deflected by Maryland defender George Gelnovatch. The ball rolled toward the goal line, but Powers recovered to make the save.
Fort Lauderdale had three strong chances in the final five minutes. Chopper Edwards' header hit the crossbar in the 88th minute, and one minute later McKinley skimmed a shot wide left from 18 yards.
Powers dived to his right to stop another McKinley try just seconds before the final whistle.
Maryland 1 ... 0 ... -- 1
Fort Lauderdale 0 ... 0 ... -- 0
Goals: M--Sloan (11). Assists: M--none. Saves: M--Powers 6; FL--Mausser 2.