Bays' Mettrick happy with the score

December 03, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

The scene at Du Burns Arena last Friday night was touching. Mark Mettrick, a gifted soccer player, was doing what he loves, and it showed.

Mettrick seemed to soak in every second as he signed autographs after scoring three goals to help the Baltimore Bays blitz the Hampton Roads Hurricanes, 13-2, in Baltimore's first indoor soccer game in the U.S. Interregional Soccer League.

It was Mettrick's first indoor game since the Blast and the Major Soccer League went out of business 18 months ago. He was left without a team when he wasn't offered a contract by the Spirit. Mettrick jumped at the Bays' offer.

"Inside, I'm over the moon about it. They [the Bays] don't realize what they're doing for me," said the former two-time Division I All-American from Hartwick College. "I was at the peak of my career at 27 years old and had just been voted to the MSL All-Star team by my fellow players when the league folded. Suddenly I had no place to play, and I didn't really want to leave Baltimore. If the Bays had not come along, I don't know what would have happened to me. I could have played for some local teams, but they wouldn't have been at this high a level."

Making the Bays' opportunity more satisfying for Mettrick is that coach Kevin Healey has given the defender/midfielder freedom to go on offense at any time.

That has thrust the native of Glossup, England, more into the spotlight than with the Blast, when he usually defended the opponent's top forward.

"Don't get me wrong, I like to score goals," he said. "But I'm happy just to be playing the game I love. I don't have to score goals to be happy."

Mettrick said one of the most gratifying things about the post-game festivities last Friday was "that several former Blast fans came up to me."

Mettrick is mixing the Bays with two jobs, assistant soccer coach at Mount St. Mary's and substitute teacher at Johnnycake Middle School.

BAYS TONIGHT

Opponent: Richmond Kickers

Site: Du Burns Arena

Time: 8:05

Outlook: This is a Northern Division game for the Bays (1-0), who ran away from Challenge Division opponent Hampton Roads, 13-2, last Friday in the season opener at Du Burns. Mark Mettrick had three goals for Baltimore, Billy Ronson had three assists, Joe Layfield had two goals and two assists and Jason Wright had 20 saves. Richmond is playing its first game of the season. The Bays are trying to get 400 seats added to Du Burns after last week's standing-room crowd of 945. Du Burns seating capacity is 600.

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