O'Keefe caps Spirit's rally against former team in 14-13 win

January 30, 1994|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Dan O'Keefe played well in front of his hometown crowd last night at The Arena.

He scored two goals, including the winner at 12:22 of the fourth quarter to give the Baltimore Spirit a 14-13 come-from-behind victory over the St. Louis Ambush.

"This win was a real gut check for us. We had to see how well we could play on the road, and I think we showed some people we can win on the road," Spirit coach Kenny Cooper said. "St. Louis, I heard rave reviews about them, and they were all true. We beat a very good team tonight, one of the best in the league."

O'Keefe, who grew up in St. Louis and played with the Ambush last season, hit a rocket that Ambush goalie Jeff Robben never saw or reacted to as it hit the right inside post from just inside the yellow line.

"I came on for a line change, stopped and saw two defenders in front of Robben, so I just hit a shot," said O'Keefe. "He was screened.

"We are a good second-half team," he added. "We were down 6-2 against Kansas City the other night and we came back. When we play together, we can win, and I think we're one of the best teams in the league."

Mike Stankovic, playing in his second game, had two second-half goals to get the Spirit back in the game.

"Every sport has their great players," said Cooper. "Mike Stankovic is the Joe Montana of soccer. He hasn't lost a step and he's a good leader to have with the young group of guys we have."

Steve Maurer scored his third of the game at 8:43 over Chris Vaccaro's left shoulder to make it 13-12.

Baltimore took a 12-11 lead when Tarik Walker scored from the right side at 7:35. Stankovic scored his second at 6:05 off a free kick after Chris Kenny pulled down Clark Brisson inside the line.

St. Louis scored three times in the third to take control.

Daryl Doran scored off another free kick started by Kevin Hundelt at 2:26 for a 9-4 lead. O'Keefe went off for boarding Hundelt six seconds later, and David Doyle scored off the shootout for a 10-4 lead.

With eight seconds left in the penalty to O'Keefe, Mark Moser sent a heel ball through his legs with his back to the goal and it beat Vaccaro at 4:24 for an 11-4 lead.

St. Louis kept the pressure up with good scoring chances coming from Kevin Groark and Hundelt midway through the quarter from close in but Vaccaro saved both.

The Spirit got closer later in the quarter when Brisson scored at 11:06 and Stankovic scored at 14:22 to cut the lead to 11-8.

The Ambush held a 7-4 lead at halftime. Maurer scored 37 seconds into the second quarter for 4-2 lead.

Goran Hunjak tied the score at 4 at 4:42 when he scored off a free kick after Doran pulled down O'Keefe just outside the box.

Maurer caught Vaccaro off guard scoring on a three-point blast from the right side at 10:41.

Sloppy play in the first quarter by both clubs resulted in goals.

O'Keefe scored at 3:06 from inside the box for a 2-0 Spirit lead. Scott McDoniel tied the score when he took a pass from Moser at midfield and scored into the upper left corner past Vaccaro at 14:07.

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