Harrisburg gives Spirit more heat on road, 20-14

March 06, 1994|By Mike Bullock | Mike Bullock,Special to The Sun

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Spirit is going to have to wait another game before popping those champagne corks.

And with its road woes continuing to mount, it is a good thing the next game is at home.

The Spirit lost its third straight NPSL game last night at the Farm Show Arena, dropping a 20-14 decision to the Harrisburg Heat before 6,685.

Baltimore (22-9), which has lost five in a row on the road, leads the American Division by just one-half game, thanks to a 27-14 win by the Cleveland Crunch.

Harrisburg (13-18) captured its second straight victory, but first in four tries against the Spirit.

Denis Hamlett, Bill Becher and Mark Pulisic scored two goals each for the Heat.

Paul Wright had three goals and an assist for the Spirit.

"We're just not committed enough right now to get the job done," Spirit coach Kenny Cooper said. "This is good for us. We haven't had any adversity this year.

"You have to scratch and claw like a dog on the road, and we're not prepared to do that."

The Spirit took a 4-0 lead in the first period, using its special teams and defense.

Wright scored the first two goals, both of them one-pointers.

Wright's first goal came on a shootout at the 1:36 mark. His second came on a power play 38 seconds later on a nice feed from Rusty Troy.

Trailing 8-6 at the half, the Spirit scored the next six points to

take a four-point lead early in the third period.

Dan O'Keefe's power-play goal, a three-pointer by Wright and Eric Dade's score sent the Spirit into the lead.

But Becher and Hamlett combined for the next four goals to give the Heat a lead it would keep.

Becher tied the score with eight seconds remaining in the third period. He added the eventual game-winner with 4:38 gone in the fourth period.

Goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro, who made eight saves, took the loss for the Spirit. Vaccaro's record fell to 20-6.

Harrisburg goalkeeper Jorge Valenzuela picked up the win, improving his record to 8-7. Valenzuela finished with 14 saves, 10 in the first half.

Troy added two goals and an assist for the Spirit, which will play host to Cleveland on Friday night at Baltimore Arena.

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