Vuckovic powers Spirit with club-record 7 goals Forward's 12-point total also a team mark, sparking 21-16 victory over Crunch

January 31, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Maybe Bo Vuckovic was upset because he wasn't named to the American Conference squad for the NPSL All-Star Game in a couple of weeks. In any case, he played with a vengeance last night, his seven goals leading the Spirit to a 21-16 triumph over the Cleveland Crunch.

While boosting its home record to 7-6 and halting a Crunch win streak at three games, the Spirit put the game away with a unanswered 14-point burst over a 20-minute stretch in the second and third periods.

Vuckovic's seven goals and 12 points were team records. He was aided in the scoring column by Mike Henning and Shane Dougherty with two goals apiece and Barry Stitz with three assists.

"In my second game in this league, playing for Tampa, I got seven goals in Cleveland," Vuckovic recalled. "This was a very enjoyable flashback."

As is often the case after terrific individual performances, he was quick to point out: "The entire team played an excellent game. Our defensemen were tough down low and the forwards got back quickly and we had good spacing all night. We didn't give them many chances. At the other end, we moved the ball around well and kept possession."

The victory, which marked the first time the team has been able to win back-to-back games, was not without its negative aspects for the home team, as forward Sasa Zoric left the game with a strained knee before halftime.

The Spirit charged to a 12-4 halftime lead, and the closest the Crunch could come after the home team had taken a 16-4 lead midway through the third period was when it went to a sixth-man attack in the last couple of minutes.

NOTE: Orioles legend Brooks Robinson will sign autographs at the Spirit card show Feb. 21 at Baltimore Arena. He'll sign between 5 and 7 p.m.. The Spirit will meet the Harrisburg Heat at 7: 35.

Pub Date: 1/31/98

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