Heat's 16-13 win ends Spirit's 8-game streak McIntosh scores 4 goals, but Harrisburg hangs on

March 10, 1996|By Mike Bullock | Mike Bullock,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Ask the Baltimore Spirit players about their favorite places to visit in March and April, and it's not likely any will mention Pennsylvania's capital city.

The Spirit hasn't enjoyed too many trips to Harrisburg's State Farm Shell Arena during the past four seasons and last night was no different.

Bill Becher's goal with 3: 30 remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Heat edged the Spirit, 16-13, before a crowd of 7,596.

The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Spirit (22-13), which will continue its season-ending, seven-game road trip today in Canton.

Harrisburg (20-16) won for the fourth time in five games. The Heat has won 13 of 15 meetings between the teams during the months of March and April.

The Spirit fell behind 7-0 and 9-3 in the opening half, then put on a second-half comeback behind Franklin McIntosh. The former Harrisburg performer collected three second-half goals to pull the visitors to within 12-11 with 4: 38 remaining.

Brad Smith gave the Spirit its only lead moments later on a long outlet pass from goalkeeper Joe Malia.

But Harrisburg rallied, pulling ahead to stay when Becher planted the game-winner past Malia late in the final period. Moments later, a questionable penalty on the Spirit's Kevin -- he was sent off for holding Harrisburg's David Bascome -- infuriated the Baltimore side.

Smith drew a five-minute misconduct. Omid Namazi also picked up a five-minute misconduct, then was ejected for violent and abusive behavior.

The result: Harrisburg's Danny Kelly netted a shootout to make it with 2: 50 to play. Domenic Mobilio added a power-play score at the 1: 17 mark.

McIntosh finished with four goals and an assist to lead the Spirit. The NPSL's all-time leading scorer now has 1,019 career points.

Kelly netted three goals and three assists for Harrisburg, and Mobilio scored two goals and assisted on two others.

Scoop Stanisic picked up the victory for Harrisburg. He made 17 saves and improved his record to 19-10. Malia, the former Harrisburg goalie, suffered the loss. His record fell to 10-9.

NOTES: The Spirit played without M Barry Stitz (ankle sprain) and M Jason Maricle (hamstring). D Lance Johnson aggravated his shoulder injury in the first half, but returned in the second half.

Pub Date: 3/10/96

Spirit tonight

Opponent: Canton Invaders

Site: Canton (Ohio) Memorial Civic Center

Time: 6: 05

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

Outlook: The Spirit is 3-0 against Canton this season. The Invaders' 4-31 record is the worst in the NPSL. Their only victories are over the Harrisburg Heat, Tampa Bay Terror and Cincinnati Silverbacks (twice). Marcelo Carrera is Canton's top scorer with 114 points, 13th in the league. The Spirit's Franklin McIntosh and Kevin Sloan are Nos. 3 and 9. This is the third of seven straight road games ending the Spirit's regular season.

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