Spirit holds on, beats charging Invaders

January 30, 1995|By Meagan Malone | Meagan Malone,Special to The Sun

CANTON, Ohio -- No matter how hard the Canton Invaders tried, the Baltimore Spirit wasn't about to let them back into their National Professional Soccer League game yesterday.

Baltimore held on, despite being outscored 12-6 in the fourth quarter, for a 22-21 win over the Invaders.

Kevin Sloan sealed the Spirit's second win of the season over the Invaders with a back post shot that sailed over the head of Canton sixth attacker Doug Swanson at 13:19.

Carlos Ledesma hit an unassisted three-point goal 14 seconds later to pull Canton within one, but the Baltimore defense held for the final minute.

Baltimore (16-9) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter before Steve Provan could score the Invaders' first goal. The Spirit led 16-9 after the third quarter and held off the Invaders (5-19).

Forward Brad Smith was Baltimore's leading scorer with seven points on a three-point goal and a pair of two-pointers.

Midfielder Kevin Sloan also had a hat trick, along with three Canton players. Franklin McIntosh had four assists and one two-point goal.

Smith was ejected at 6:50 in the fourth quarter for kicking Ledesma as the Canton forward lay on the ground after a collision between the two.

Goalkeeper Joe Mallia stopped Ledesma on the shootout, but couldn't keep Canton's player-coach Denzil Antonio from scoring a power-play goal to make the score 18-12. Mallia had 23 saves in the win.

Then at 7:30, Spirit defender Mike Stankovic was called for boarding. Canton forward Marcelo Carrera scored on the shootout and Ledesma got a power-play goal to make the score 18-14.

McIntosh scored his only goal on a pass from Jamie Christie at 11:33 to break up Canton's scoring spree.

Carrera, who had seven points, and Antonio teamed up for another quick Canton goal at 12:26, forcing Baltimore to call a timeout.

Canton's Steve Provan scored at 13:10 to pull the Invaders within one goal, which made the crowd of 1,538 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center think their team might have a chance at a come-from-behind win.

But nine seconds alter, Sloan --ed their hopes with his game-winning shot.

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