Spirit downs Power, 24-8, raises record to 7-0

November 28, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Spirit's Goran Hunjak didn't lose his scoring touch, after all.

Hunjak had only six assists and a sprained ankle to show for the first six games. He picked up five of the assists in one game early this month, then missed three games with a sprained ankle.

But last night Hunjak scored four goals as the Spirit defeated the Chicago Power, 24-8, before 5,041 at the Baltimore Arena. The Spirit, the National Professional Soccer League's only unbeaten team, raised its record to 7-0.

It was the Spirit's 13th straight regular-season victory at home, dating to January, and 23rd in the past 26 at the Arena.

The Spirit finished November with a 6-0 record, making it 11-0 for that month in its two-year NPSL history.

The Spirit, leading at halftime, 11-6, put the game away in the third period with seven straight points, four by Hunjak. Hunjak's nine points tied his career high set last December against the Detroit Rockers and left him one shy of Tim Wittman's club record set last March against the Canton Invaders.

"It felt good to get the goals and helped my confidence, but I knew they'd come eventually," said Hunjak, the team's goals leader last season with 53 and No. 9 in the NPSL in points with 141.

Wittman had a goal and four assists, giving him 18 points, including 11 assists, in the past three games. Wittman and Paul Wright are tied for the club lead with 29 points apiece.

The team's newest member, John Abe, picked up his first point (( with an assist on Rusty Troy's third-quarter goal, and later added a goal.

Coach Kenny Cooper said: "We dominated a very good team without using [Dan] O'Keefe." O'Keefe, the NPSL's all-time goals leader with 320 goals, missed the game with a tender knee.

"We still got the job done," Cooper said. "No matter who gets injured, someone steps up to the plate."

The Spirit took a 4-2 first-quarter lead on goals by Clark Brisson, who converted Wittman's pass with a bicycle kick, and Hunjak, who scored his first of the season.

After Chicago tied it at 6 six minutes into the second quarter, the Spirit scored five points for an 11-6 lead that held up until halftime.

NOTES: Spirit rookie Rob Ukrop, whose jaw was broken in two places by an elbow of the Harrisburg Heat's Denis Hamlett nine days ago, has lost 11 pounds and is still in discomfort. NPSL commissioner Steve Paxos is expected to rule on a possible punishment for Hamlett early this week. . . . The Spirit presented a $1,361 check to a recovery fund for police officer James Beck, who was shot on duty and is in critical condition at University Hospital. Tim Caslin of the Fraternal Order of Police accepted the check.

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