Wings keep Spirit on the skids Baltimore's 9-8 loss is 8th in past 11 games

January 28, 1996|By Bob Stratton | Bob Stratton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WICHITA, Kan. -- The Baltimore Spirit simply can't shake this slump.

Baltimore lost for the eighth time in its past 11 games last night as the Wichita Wings hung on for a 9-8 victory at the Kansas Coliseum.

The Spirit had handed Wichita its worst loss of the season, 23-10, earlier this week. Last night's game, however, was controlled by the Wings.

The final period started with the Spirit's Franklin McIntosh being ejected for misconduct. McIntosh, called for elbowing Wichita's Tommy Knox, tried to climb out of the penalty box to confront a fan who had tossed coffee on him. Teammates Ronald Simmons and Lance Johnson restrained McIntosh.

The incident seemed to ignite the Spirit, as John Garvey scored his second goal of the night to pull Baltimore within one point with 9:16 left.

But the Wings' defense, enduring a 2:21 stretch when Baltimore had a sixth attacker, preserved the victory.

"We have a tendency of self-destructing and we did it again," said Baltimore coach Dave MacWilliams. "We're mentally lacking right now. Our confidence level is pretty low."

The Wings were pleased that McIntosh, the all-time scoring leader in the NPSL, was sidelined. "The guy is an incredible goal-scorer," said Wichita defender Chris Martinez. "Without him, made it much easier to stop them."

The Spirit (13-11) dropped to fourth place in the American Division. The Wings (13-11) improved to a tie for third place with St. Louis in the National Division.

Baltimore, which dropped a 10-9 decision to the lowly Chicago Power on Friday night, found itself down 4-0 early against the Wings. That deficit came via two precision plays by Wichita. The first was by goalkeeper Kris Peat. Peat, who scored earlier this season, brought the ball up the field and fired. The ball was blocked, but Peat chased down the rebound and scored from 15 feet.

More players were involved in Wichita's second goal. Kevin Holness delivered a perfect pass to Chris Martinez crossing the middle of the goal box. Martinez tipped the ball down to Jim McGeough slicing in. Spirit goalie Cris Vaccaro had no chance.

Baltimore came back to tie the game at 4 on Kevin Sloan's first goal, off a pass from McIntosh, and Garvey's 19th goal of the season, off a pass from Jason Dieter.

Wichita, however, moved out to a three-point lead by halftime. Ted Eck converted on a two-point goal at 9:20 and then added a

shootout goal about a minute later.

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