Mallia lends Spirit assist in keeping sight of goals

ON SOCCER

November 23, 1994|By DOUG BROWN

The Spirit hardly missed a beat while No. 1 goalie Cris Vaccaro was recovering from a pulled hamstring.

After a six-game absence, Vaccaro is probable for road games Friday against the Cleveland Crunch and Saturday against the Harrisburg Heat. Joe Mallia compiled a 5-1 record while Vaccaro was out.

"It's a long season, and we don't want to push on these injuries," coach Dave MacWilliams said. "In the past, Cris sometimes played when he was 70 percent. That's why we got an experienced goalie like Joe, to give Cris time to heal."

MacWilliams, who has complained of dizziness and feeling "like I'm going to pass out" since Thursday, is waiting for the results of more tests designed to identify the problem. He conducted practice yesterday.

Rothe out, Taylor in

Captain Jack Taylor, a WGRX-FM announcer and the CFLs' public address announcer, is the new voice of the Spirit. Bill Rothe, P.A. man for indoor soccer here for 14 years, quit in a huff last Saturday when a statistician called him "a fat bag of wind." Rothe announced his resignation to the crowd after the game.

Karic, Marinaro next

The Spirit is devoting its attention this week to devising ways to contain Cleveland's Zoran Karic and Hector Marinaro, to wringing goals out of power-play situations and to eliminating lapses on defensive restarts.

"Karic and Marinaro will get their points, but you try to minimize them," MacWilliams said, referring to the league's most prolific one-two scoring combination.

"We've been struggling on power plays, especially when Jon [Parry] was out with a sprained ankle. And opponents are getting more restart goals than I'd like, because of concentration lapses or breaks in our defensive wall. Let that happen against Karic and he'll make you pay."

Brad not bad

Brad Smith must have left his bad-boy image in Dayton. Smith was fourth in the National Professional Soccer League with 58 penalty minutes last season with the Dayton Dynamo, but has been a model of decorum since the Spirit purchased him early this month.

In six games, he has two penalty minutes and 22 points, including three three-point goals.

The league has its bad boys, however. Four players -- the Kansas City Attack's Lee Tschantret, the Harrisburg Heat's Danny Kelly, the Detroit Rockers' David Hoggan and Karic -- have been ejected from games and served automatic one-game suspensions.

Schwab coaches, too

Kansas City defender and captain Jim Schwab coached Johnson County Community College to the National Junior College Championships, where it lost in the quarterfinals last week to Massasoit (Mass.) CC.

The season-ending loss enabled Schwab to rejoin the Attack in time for two road games. In five seasons as Johnson County's coach, Schwab is 88-15-1.

Miscellaneous

After a slow start, ex-Spirit Goran Hunjak is prospering with Kansas City. He had three two-point goals and two assists in a win over Detroit, giving him 23 points in seven games. Attack goalie Warren Westcoat of Severna Park had 10 saves. . . . Harrisburg goalie Scoop Stanisic is with the U.S. National Team for two games, but will return to face the Spirit on Saturday night. . . . The Buffalo Blizzard's Paul Dougherty was named NPSL Player of the Week on the strength of 15 points in two games, a loss to the Spirit and a victory over Harrisburg in which he scored the game-winning goal with 2:09 left. He is fourth in the NPSL with 46 points. . . . Bryan Finnerty's NPSL record of 115 straight games in the goal for Detroit may be in jeopardy because of a leg injury.

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