Streaking Attack rolls over listless Spirit, 19-11 K.C. runs win string to 14, ties NPSL record

January 21, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

It's like playing with a soccer ball that's not completely blown up, the coach said. There's no bounce to it. No spring.

"That's the way we're playing," the Spirit's Dave MacWilliams said. "No bounce. No spring. We're in a funk."

Little changed last night.

The Kansas City Attack's 19-11 victory over the Spirit before 6,416 at the Baltimore Arena extended its winning streak to 14, tying the National Professional Soccer League's record by the Canton Invaders in the 1989-90 season.

Kansas City will go for No. 15 tonight when it plays host to the St. Louis Ambush in its third game in as many nights.

The Spirit (12-9) had the small consolation of being the first team in nine games to score more than nine points against Kansas City (17-3). The Attack's average yield for the season is an NPSL-low 9.8.

The Spirit has dropped six of its past eight and has plunged from second in the American Division to fourth in a week.

"We gave up too many easy goals in the box -- tap-ins," MacWilliams said. "And we don't make them pay the price by getting physical. We've got to learn how to win again."

For the Attack, goalie Warren Westcoat, a Severna Park High grad, had 24 saves and Wes Wade had five assists.

Newcomer John Garvey led the Spirit with two goals and Franklin McIntosh had three assists.

In the first quarter, the Spirit took a 7-2 lead, but Kansas City scored seven unanswered points for a 9-7 halftime edge.

The Attack's scoring leader, ex-Spirit Goran Hunjak, got his first goal in four games against his old team in the first quarter after collecting only an assist in three games last season.

Kevin Sloan tied Hunjak's Spirit career points record of 247 with the next goal, giving Baltimore a 4-2 lead.

Spirit goalie Joe Mallia, who's been struggling recently, got back in the lineup unexpectedly at the start of the second half when starter Cris Vaccaro became dizzy after being hit in the face by a ball in the second quarter. Vaccaro returned in the fourth.

"Joe's having a tough time right now," MacWilliams said.

Vaccaro, beset by injuries and the flu early in the season, is playing better. He came on Friday night after Mallia allowed 16 first-half points in Buffalo and allowed only five the rest of the way.

The Spirit's Lance Johnson was ejected in the second quarter for striking.

NOTES: For two years at Old Dominion, Mallia was a roommate of Brett Phillips, the Kansas City goalie who is in Brazil for a tournament with the U.S. National Indoor Team. He is due back this week. . . . Gary Ross' 15-day contract ended last night, but the Spirit will offer him at least another 15-day contract and possibly one for the rest of the season. Ross has at least one point in three of the four games he has played. . . . Dave Vaudreuil, who has missed eight of the past nine games with a strained stomach muscle, may undergo surgery. The injury hasn't improved in 5 1/2 weeks and doctors say it appears to be a tear in the abdominal wall. If he undergoes surgery, he could be back in a month. Barry Stitz (sprained ankle) and Jamie Christie (pulled hamstring) also have missed time with injuries. The three represent 22 goals and 17 assists for 57 points. Both returned last night.

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