Spirit loses first as late rally falls short against Wings, 18-14

December 05, 1992|By Tracy Elliott | Tracy Elliott,Contributing Writer

WICHITA, Kan. -- In a game touting 14 veterans of th now-defunct Major Soccer League, it actually came down to the youngsters.

Dave Reichart, a developmental player last season in the MSL, scored a hat trick to lead Wichita to an 18-14 National Professional Soccer League victory last night over the Baltimore Spirit. It was the Spirit's first loss, dropping it to 5-1.

Reichart's performance outshone the great play of two Baltimore-area rookies, Jason Dieter and Barry Stitz. Dieter and Stitz combined three times for goals and tallied a combined 10 points.

The Spirit had three penalties, from which Wichita scored four points, two shootouts and two power-play goals, each worth a point.

"When we got the game on the line, we lacked a little discipline," said Spirit coach Kenny Cooper. "We gave up a power play here or a shootout and we shouldn't do that."

Wichita improved to 7-2 with the victory in a battle of division leaders. Beto scored two goals and two assists and Chico Borja had two unassisted power-play goals for the Wings.

The Spirit's Goran Hunjak extended his point-scoring streak to six games with his third-period goal. Joe Koziol also added a goal and an assist for Baltimore. Dieter finished with two goals and two assists and Stitz one goal and two assists.

Reichart's third goal of the game, his seventh on the year, gave Wichita an 18-10 lead midway through the fourth period before the Spirit mounted a late rally.

But that rally wasn't enough to stop Wichita, which dominated much of the game with Kris Peat as goalkeeper.

After watching Wichita score four straight goals in the second period, Baltimore tightened its defense. Wichita failed to score in the third period.

"In the third period, we scored two quick goals and we had the momentum," said Stitz. "But they scored on those set plays and we're back to coming from behind."

In the first half, a shootout goal by Wichita's Eric Eichmann

began the Wings' four-goal, six-point run after Baltimore pulled to 8-6. Spirit defender Doug Neely blocked a restart kick by Borja into the goal on the ensuing power play.

hTC The Spirit's Eric Dade was carded for tripping LeBaron Hollimon at midfield, and Eichmann scored his eighth shootout goal in 11 tries. A U.S. National team veteran, Eichmann replaced Wichita's Terry Woodberry, who suffered an eye injury in the world indoor championships in Hong Kong.

Reichart beat rookie Spirit defender Steve Nichols one-on-one for a 12-6 Wichita lead before Dale Ervine knocked in the rebound off Arturo Velazco's missed shot with 51 seconds to play in the half.

If the Spirit had not taken advantage of defensive lapses by the Wings, the deficit could have been greater.

Dade, Baltimore's No. 1 draft pick, stole the ball from Brian Enge along the wall and fed Michael King, whose shot into the far upper corner, cut the Wings' lead to 8-6 with 6:54 to play in the half. A restart goal by Alex Umansky had given Wichita an 8-4 lead less than four minutes into the period.

Spirit 4 2 4 4 -- 14

Wichita 6 8 0 4 -- 18

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