Spirit falters in 4th, falls to Attack

March 19, 1994|By La Velle Neal | La Velle Neal,Special to The Sun

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Spirit was shut out in the fourth quarter last night, as the Kansas City Attack pulled away with a 17-11 victory at Kemper Arena.

The loss was especially painful for Spirit coach Kenny Cooper, who wore an ice pack on his right wrist.

"I had surgery on my wrist last week and it was bothering a little bit and a loss like that doesn't help any, if you know what I'm saying," he said. "You kind of ache all over when you lose like that."

The Spirit, which leads the American Division of the National Professional Soccer League, fell to 24-10. Kansas City, last in the National Division, improved to 12-24.

"Teams like that are dangerous to play against and this performance tonight was not characteristic of the way we play," Cooper said. "We made a lot of mental errors and we have a bit of a difficult time when [goalie] Cris [Vaccaro] isn't playing."

Kansas City midfielder Kevin Koetters scored five points on a game-high three goals. Defender Doug Neely led Baltimore with two goals.

Attack defender Iain Fraser broke an 11-11 tie 12 seconds into the fourth quarter when his shot from the left corner squirted through the grasp of goalkeeper Shawn Boehmcke, who started in place of the injured Vaccaro (sore hamstring).

Kansas City extended its lead to 15-11 at the 5:56 mark when forward Tom Knox scored his second goal of the season off a loose ball.

Spirit forward Paul Wright entered as the sixth attacker with 5:53 left to play, but Kansas City got a goal by Koetters with 4:03 remaining to make it 17-11.

"We had a lot of chances," Wright said. "We have no one to blame but ourselves because we didn't put them away. We have trouble getting up for the lesser teams. I think they played well. They gave 100 percent and worked hard. They aren't the most skillful team but they worked hard."

Trailing 10-7 at the half, Baltimore came back on goals by Wright and Neely to take an 11-10 lead in the third quarter.

7/8

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