Terror gives Spirit fits in 18-7 triumph

January 18, 1996|By Bill Ward | Bill Ward,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Defense rarely ends up winning indoor soccer games. But last night at the Bayfront Center Arena, the Tampa Bay Terror proved that's where it starts as it shut out the Spirit in the first quarter and gave up just one score in the final period to post an18-7 victory.

"The changes we've made on defense made the difference," said Terror coach Kenny Cooper, who spent 14 seasons coaching indoors in Baltimore. "This has to be our best win so far this season, and I think we've got the right foundation now to go forward and do some good things."

The struggling Terror (5-15) recently added two defenders to its roster, former Baltimore Bays player Derek Marcano and Carlos Zavala, who once played in Mexico's first division. The duo made a strong impact for Tampa Bay, which entered last night's match with just one home victory.

The Terror's chances of winning were enhanced by the absence of the Spirit's leading scorer, Franklin McIntosh, who was benched by coach Dave MacWilliams for missing curfew before the game.

"Sure, it hurt not having him in there, but the team has certain rules that apply to everyone," MacWilliams said. "But we still made too many blatant defensive mistakes that resulted in goals, and you can't do that and expect to win."

Indeed, the Spirit (12-7) was often careless on defense, and many of the Terror's goals, particularly in the final period, came when the Spirit left players unmarked or unchallenged.

Tampa Bay had taken a 2-0 lead after the first quarter, but goals by recently acquired Terror player John Garvey and Kevin Sloan gave Baltimore a 3-2 halftime lead.

The Spirit went on top 5-2 when Jason Dieter scored from 15 feet in front of the goal, but Tampa Bay scored three two-point goals in less than three minutes to take an 8-5 lead into the final quarter.

Apart from an early two-point goal by Ronald Simmons that cut the Spirit deficit to 10-7, it was all Tampa Bay in the final 15 minutes of play.

An unmarked Billy Thompson put the Terror ahead 12-7 with a chip-in goal. Midfielder Michael Gailey made it 14-7 with a low shot from inside the three-point arc. With 6:06 to play, Tampa Bay's leading scorer, Serbian Bojan Vuckovic, made it 16-7 with a goal that deflected off Simmons.

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