Spirit comes on strong to flatten Crunch Vaudreuil's three-pointer spurs team to 19-11 win

November 18, 1995|By Dale Meggas | Dale Meggas,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CLEVELAND -- The Spirit took a different tack last night in coming away with a 19-11 victory over the Cleveland Crunch in a National Professional Soccer League game before 5,971 at the Convocation Center.

The Spirit overcame a sluggish first half to move to 4-1 for the season. It also removed Cleveland as the lone unbeaten team in the league after six wins.

"We sacrificed ourselves to night a lot, especially on restarts. And we got a lot of blocks," said Spirit goalie Joe Mallia, who improved to 4-0.

Said coach Dave MacWilliams: "We had a game plan and stuck to it. Discipline, goalkeeping and defense are what we will need to become a good team."

In its three previous victories, Baltimore had scored in double digits by halftime before being limited to four points in the first half of a 17-10 loss to Harrisburg.

Although just scoring seven against Cleveland in the opening half, it was enough for a 7-6 lead.

Baltimore still held the lead at 9-8, but it took a three-point goal from just outside the arc by Dave Vaudreuil at 11:41 to provide the margin at the quarter break.

The Spirit had trailed by one on two occasions in the third period until Vaudreuil beat Crunch goalkeeper Otto Orf for 12-10.

Two-pointers by Doug Miller and Hector Marinaro around a two-pointer by the Spirit's Mike Stankovic put Cleveland up 10-9 before Vaudreuil gave Baltimore a lead it never gave up.

"Give them credit," said Cleveland coach Bruce Miller. "I think we outplayed them in the first half but they got a lucky goal [by Zak Ibsen]. I thought we would take it to them in the second half, but they kept their composure."

Spirit tonight

Opponent: Chicago Power

Site: CoreStates Spectrum, Philadelphia

Time: 7:35

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)

Outlook: This will be the first of seven neutral-site games in the NPSL this season, each designed as a test for expansion. The Power (0-2) is coming off an overtime loss to the defending NPSL champion St. Louis Ambush in which Chicago Stewart Dobson registered 27 saves. Chicago's next two games also will be at neutral sites -- against Buffalo in New Haven, Conn., and Cleveland in Worcester, Mass. Its first home game will be Dec. 3.

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