Spirit showcases itself before big Philly crowd 13,052 turn out to see 23-12 win over Chicago

November 19, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA -- As a kickoff for the Philadelphia Kixx, the Spirit-Chicago Power game was a huge success -- for everyone except the Power.

Before the second largest crowd in the National Professional Soccer League this season, 13,052, the Spirit defeated the Power, 23-12, last night at the CoreStates Spectrum.

The neutral-site game was played four days after the league announced that the Philadelphia Kixx will join the NPSL next season.

For the Spirit (5-1), the win capped a two-victory weekend that began with Friday night's road triumph over the previously undefeated Cleveland Crunch.

For the Power, the loss was its third without a win.

"It's always hard to come back from a great win like we had in Cleveland and play as intense," Spirit defender Omid Namazi said before the game. "It was good to win that one, but it will mean nothing if we embarrass ourselves now."

Although the Power won't be mistaken for the Crunch, the Spirit played a strong game that caused no embarrassment and produced the desired result.

"We played well in the beginning, then let up some in the second half," Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams said. With a shrug, he added, "It's a win. Maybe we had some tired legs and maybe made some tired decisions."

Franklin McIntosh led the Spirit with 10 points on two three-point goals and four assists. With 75 assists since joining the team last December, he is within two of Goran Hunjak's club record achieved in two full seasons.

"We won the same way we did in Cleveland -- got up early," McIntosh said. "Overall, we played well both nights."

The Spirit surged to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter and was never threatened. Kevin Sloan contributed seven points and Lance Johnson had five.

"Friday night, we were on an emotional high because Cleveland was 6-0," Sloan said. "We took that game and brought it into this one."

Cris Vaccaro, in his second start of the season, picked up his first win. He was in the goal for the Spirit's victory over Chicago here 13 months ago when Philadelphia was being tested as a possible expansion city.

McIntosh took charge of the game in the first half with two three-point goals and three assists.

After the Power's Joey Kirk scored the first goal, the Spirit ran off 11 unanswered points.

NOTES: Kenny Cooper's expansion Tampa Bay Terror claimed its first victory yesterday after five losses, edging the 0-5 Cincinnati Silverbacks, 11-9. . . . In Friday night's win, Dave Vaudreuil set a team record with eight blocks, while he and Johnson held Zoran Karic, the NPSL's best playmaker, to an assist and a shootout goal.

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