Vaccaro sparkles as Spirit beats Power for 2nd night in row, 11-8

October 23, 1994|By Doug Gramiak | Doug Gramiak,Special to The Sun

PHILADELPHIA -- For Cris Vaccaro, it's been two nights of teaching by example.

Vaccaro, the Spirit's starting goalkeeper and assistant coach, had another sparkling performance behind a stingy defense as Baltimore beat the Chicago Power, 11-8, at the Spectrum last night.

"That was a prime example of what a goalkeeper should do," said Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams. "You won't see a better goalkeeping performance than that. Cris was incredible."

It was the Spirit's second victory in as many nights over the Power, and it gave Baltimore a 2-0 start to the NPSL season.

After allowing just four points in 54 minutes against Chicago on Friday night, Vaccaro held the Power to just eight points in 60 minutes last night. Four of those points came in the final 3:26 of the game when Chicago pulled to within three points with 1:24 to play.

Vaccaro and the Spirit managed to hold on.

"We didn't have a lot of offense and it got close at the end," Vaccaro said. "But I think it's a sign of a good team when you don't have a great offensive night and you can still win."

The Spirit found enough offense to get a lead and hang on as Jon Parry, who led Baltimore on Friday night, and Derrick Marcano both finished with three points.

Ken Snow fueled Chicago's late comeback with a pair of goals in the final four minutes. "In this league, defense is not an individual thing," Vaccaro said. "You play defense as a unit. We haven't completely jelled yet, but we're getting there. We've worked hard." Especially Vaccaro, who is averaging six points against after two games. His average of just over 12 last year was third best in the league.

"I really don't care about goals against," said Vaccaro. "The bottom line is winning. If we win, 25-24, the biggest thing is getting the 'W.' "

After Baltimore took a 5-2 lead into the half, rookie Jamie Christie kept momentum on the Spirit's side with the first goal of his professional career 1:36 into the third period.

Christie ran onto a ball sent off the boards by Marcano and pushed a shot to the right of Chicago goalkeeper Frank Arlasky and inside the left post.

Less than two minutes later, Tim Wittman scored his second shootout goal in as many nights, this time using his second touch to fake Arlasky's legs open and his third to push the ball through for the one-point score.

With 3:35 to play in the third, Chicago's Juan Carranza scored a one-point shootout goal after Chris Love was sent off for tripping.

The Power failed to score on the ensuing power play, though, and Baltimore led by five, heading into the final period.

Carranza scored another one-point shootout goal early in the fourth quarter before Love, a native of Columbia, Md., scored the first goal of his career, scoring a two-point goal after Arlasky misplayed a long ball.

Chicago's Snow beat Vaccaro twice in the final four minutes.

That was all the Power could muster despite pulling Arlasky and going with six attackers for the last 1:05.

NOTES: Baltimore's Tarik Walker missed the final three quarters last night after spraining his ankle. . . . The Spirit played without newcomer Jean Harbor for the second straight night.

Baltimore .. 2 .. 3 .. 3 .. 3 .. -- .. 11

Chicago .... 0 .. 2 .. 1 .. 5 .. -- ... 8

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