Discipline on the spot and discipline delayed Orf gets benefit of doubt for his good behavior

NPSL notes

March 18, 1997|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

It was a week of suspensions, fines, point eruptions and wild see-saw races for playoff berths in the National Professional Soccer League. To wit:

Zoran Karic, the NPSL's leading scorer, was fined $3,000 and suspended for two games for impudence toward game officials in the Cleveland Crunch's loss to the Milwaukee Wave.

After the same game, Cleveland goalie Otto Orf was fined $5,000 and suspended for eight games for charging into the stands after being hit on the head by an object thrown by a fan. But because of Orf's otherwise exemplary conduct during his 13-year indoor career, the fine and suspension were deferred for review and Orf will be allowed to play during his probation extending through next season.

Cleveland's Hector Marinaro set NPSL records with 25 points (old mark, Karic's 19), 12 goals (old mark, eight) and four &L three-point goals (old mark, three) in a 52-18 rout of the Columbus Invaders. With four three-pointers, three two-pointers, five one-pointers and two assists, Marinaro came within one assist of the first triple cycle in NPSL history.

Any quarrel about Player of the Week? None. Marinaro it is.

The Crunch, with a league-best record of 27-9, broke the NPSL record of 38 points with its 52 against Columbus and, in the same game, the victory margin mark of 30 with its 34.

The pitiful Invaders (5-30) surrendered 106 points in three defeats and scored 30.

The East Division doormat Tampa Bay Terror won six of eight and clinched the sixth and final playoff spot in the American Conference.

The East-leading Harrisburg Heat is two games up on the Spirit with four to play. The division winner draws a first-round bye.

The Edmonton Drillers, who had won three of 16 road games, captured four games in five days in four cities to vault into a tie for the North Division lead with the Buffalo Blizzard, which dropped eight of 10.

In the Midwest Division, the St. Louis Ambush, considered by some the best team in the league, lost six straight and dropped behind Milwaukee (winner of nine of its past 10) and the Kansas City Attack, which are tied for the lead.

Quote of the Week

Edmonton's Carmen D'Onofrio on scoring four goals in a 12-9 victory over the Wichita Wings: "I felt like I could walk on water."

Miscellaneous

Dial Three for Long Distance: NPSL players have scored 408 three-point goals, obliterating the record of 356. Six players have at least 10, led by Karic and the Detroit Rockers' Dennis Brose with a record 15 apiece. The Cincinnati Silverbacks' Franklin McIntosh is the NPSL's all-time assists leader with 438 after passing Detroit player-coach Pato Margetic (437), who has been sidelined most of the season with a thigh injury.

Pub Date: 3/18/97

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