Heat sends Spirit reeling in latest round of I-83 brawl, 21-14

January 23, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

HARRISBURG, PA — HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Baltimore Spirit vs. Harrisburg Heat is as much brawl as it is a soccer game.

Spurred by an 11-point first quarter, Harrisburg went on to beat the Spirit, 21-14, last night before 5,218 in the State Farm Show Arena.

"We got three good chances at the start but couldn't finish them," Spirit coach Kenny Cooper said. "We could have had six points but had none, and then they exploded. We had to play catch-up."

The National Professional Soccer League's Interstate-83 rivalry was punctuated by a pushing, shoving, wrestling and tackling incident in the fourth quarter in which five players drew penalties.

Baltimore's Tim Wittman and Doug Neely were penalized for striking, as were the Heat's Franklin McIntosh and Lee Tschantret. The Spirit's Eric Dade was nailed for misconduct.

"The atmosphere was electric," Cooper said. "There must have been close to 1,000 of our fans who came up from Baltimore."

In the first Baltimore-Harrisburg game, in November, McIntosh got into a tussle with Rusty Troy. Near the end of last night's tussle, Troy was wrestling with Tschantret, but wasn't penalized.

McIntosh collected eight points on two goals and four assists as the Heat (10-10) posted its eighth victory in the past 10 games and capturedits fifth straight at home. Although the Spirit (15-5) is the league's winningest team, it is 5-4 on the road.

Troy, Joe Koziol and Kevin Smith each scored two goals for the Spirit and Goran Hunjak had a goal and two assists.

The Heat jumped to an 11-3 lead after the first period, its third-highest points total in one quarter in the club's two-year history.

McIntosh gave Harrisburg a 2-0 lead with his 26th goal of the season and Angelo Panzetta made it 4-0 before Koziol put Baltimore on the board with a one-point power-play goal. Harrisburg then rang up three unanswered goals for a 9-1 lead.

Steve Boardman scored the Spirit's first two-pointer of the game, but Harrisburg's Todd Smith kicked in the final goal of the quarter.

At that point, Spirit coach Kenny Cooper lifted his No. 1 goalie, Cris Vaccaro, in favor of rookie Brian Hartlove.

"I didn't want him shellshocked," Cooper said. "We can't let one game take away from his great season. We wanted to change the momentum and didn't want to risk leaving Cris in there when we have two good goalies."

NOTES: John Abe scored the 300th point of his career with an assist on a first-quarter Harrisburg goal. . . . The Heat's Mark Pulisic missed his third straight game with a strained right calf muscle.

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