Unbeaten Bays win two to clinch Northern title

February 05, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

When you're hot, you're hot.

That was the story last night for the unbeaten Baltimore Bays.

Not only did the Bays survive one of their toughest tests of the season for a 10-5 victory over the Connecticut Wolves at Du Burns Arena, they also apparently won a game by forfeit off the field against the Richmond Kickers.

That forfeit clinches the U.S. Interregional Soccer League Northern Division title for Baltimore (11-0 with the forfeit).

The Kickers told the Bays yesterday that they could not play Baltimore tomorrow night in Richmond because of an outbreak of flu on the team.

Richmond had hoped to reschedule the game, and Bays general manager Ben Neil was willing to accommodate the Kickers.

But USISL officials ruled last night that Richmond must forfeit the game to Baltimore.

"The initial ruling is a forfeit victory for us," said Bays coach Kevin Healey. "Richmond can protest, but it's unlikely it will be changed."

Even though it was a favorable ruling for the Bays, it seemed as if Healey and his players would rather play the game and continue to prepare for the USISL championships that will be held in three weeks in Baltimore.

"Forget that forfeit," said Bays midfielder Billy Ronson, who had one goal and three assists. "Let's talk about this game. I thought we played poorly but still won."

Bays defender Mark Mettrick (one goal, one assist) said the tough test from Connecticut was a good lesson.

"They stayed back and counterattacked on us, and we need that kind of game," said Mettrick. "We can't expect all the teams to come out and run with us all night."

The strategy worked perfectly for Connecticut in the first half, and the Wolves held a 3-2 lead early in the second quarter before giving up the tying goal late in the first half and six straight Baltimore goals in the third and fourth quarters.

Connecticut goalkeeper John Voight was superb throughout the game, making 22 saves.

Joe Layfield and Rob Elliott each scored twice for Baltimore, and Scott Manning had 11 saves.

Healey said: "Connecticut is a good team. They beat four Northern teams for a 4-0 record in the Challenge Division of the USISL before losing tonight."

Connecticut is playing a limited schedule this season to prepare for a full schedule next year.

The Wolves had good indoor skills but ran out of steam in the second half because they only had six reserves.

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