Irish eyes smiling on Bays rookie Nolan

June 25, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

Call it a day a rookie got his revenge. And how sweet it was for Baltimore Bays newcomer Sean Nolan.

All the Dublin, Ireland, native and Loyola College graduate had heard before last Saturday was how Italy would destroy his Irish team in the opening round of World Cup play. "It was like my rookie year at Loyola all over again," said Nolan, who will play his second game for the Bays tonight, at UMBC against the Raleigh Flyers.

Most of the friendly "stick" came from teammates Roberto Ascenzi and David Parravano -- both of whom speak fluent Italian.

Nolan, however, had the last word.

He came into the Bays' locker room after Ireland's 1-0 win singing an old Irish chant and proudly wearing his green jersey.

Veteran Billy Ronson, whose England team did not qualify for the World Cup, gracefully paid Nolan the small wager the two had on the game. Then it was Nolan's turn to give out some "stick."

And while he was preparing for his first game with the Bays last Saturday, he had a pretty good idea what was going on back home.

"I'm sure the whole city of Dublin was at a standstill. It was a great day," he said.

Nolan came to Baltimore in 1988 on a soccer scholarship at Loyola.

He graduated with an accounting degree and is working toward becoming a certified public accountant while employed at Integrated Health Services in Owings Mills.

He played with some of his Bays teammates at Loyola and began working out with the team about a month ago. When a roster spot opened, the Bays signed Nolan, who can play both midfield and up front.

"He'll serve as a role player for us. He's a smart player capable of holding the ball and making right decisions," said Bays coach Kevin Healey.

"He's very opportunistic at scoring goals and creating for others."

Patiently sitting on the bench, Nolan got his chance in the second half of the Bays' 3-0 victory over Charlotte last Saturday. He felt right at home and helped set up the Bays' last goal late in the game.

"I was actually surprised [Healey] called on me," Nolan said.

"When I got in, it was like I was ready to run all day. I was just delighted he gave me the chance to show what I can do."

BAYS TONIGHT

Opponent: Raleigh Flyers

Site: UMBC Stadium

Time: 7:30

Outlook: The Bays (3-9) stopped a five-game losing streak last Saturday with a 3-0 victory over the Charlotte Eagles. Striker Tarik Walker, slowed all season by a hamstring injury, is returning to form. He has scored in the past three games and leads the team with four goals. The Flyers (6-6) beat the Bays, 3-2 in overtime, in Raleigh, N.C., on June 11 and are in the midst of a three-game winning streak. Trailing 2-0, the Bays rallied to tie the game before losing in overtime. Injuries have continued to be a problem for the Bays. Joe Layfield (groin) will not be available; Aaron Velli (hamstring) is doubtful; and Mark Mettrick (knee) and Terry Locklear (hamstring) are questionable. The Raleigh attack is led by former Davidson College and Baltimore Spirit player Rob Ukrop.

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