Kixx takes 5-0 lead, rolls over Spirit, 12-4 Goalie Pappas proves too much for home team

March 28, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Philadelphia Kixx, looking to build some momentum for its upcoming playoff assignment after playing win-one, lose-one for a month, seemed to accomplish that goal against the Spirit last night.

The Kixx moved out to a 5-0 lead in the first 25 minutes and, with Pete Pappas stopping 18 of 20 shots sent his way by the Spirit, cruised to a 12-4 victory before 5,791 at the Baltimore Arena.

"In a situation like this one," said Kixx coach Dave MacWilliams, "what you're looking to do is give your starters some rest, play solidly all around and avoid injuries.

"The other night, against Detroit, we were up 19-4 and things broke down. It was so one-sided, we became undisciplined. I sort of came down hard on the guys and maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The guys did a real good job defensively."

The triumph gave Philadelphia a 5-1 advantage in the season series with Baltimore and dropped the home team's record at the arena to 9-10.

Pappas, in picking up his 24th win of the season, was nearly impenetrable in the Kixx net.

A second-period goal by Chris Scotti, on which Pappas had no chance at a save, and Denison Cabral's two-pointer late in the game prevented the goalie from registering the team's first shutout in two years.

Meanwhile, the usual Kixx culprits, Matt Knowles and Omid Namazi, the best 1-2 offensive punch among defensemen in the NPSL, were doing their thing.

Knowles had a three-pointer and an assist and Namazi had a two-pointer and two assists.

Both teams seemed fixed on establishing good field position in preference to scoring goals at the outset.

The thrill of witnessing a scoreless first period went by the boards with just 35 seconds remaining in the opening 15 minutes when Philadelphia scored on a free kick.

It was a classy, bing-bang-bong play, Knowles pushing the ball to Namazi, who in turn crossed it to Kevin Sloan, who hammered a three-pointer past Spirit goalie Khalil Azmi.

The Kixx bumped its lead to 5-0 early in the second quarter, John Olu Molomo converting a nice setup by Don D'Ambra.

The Spirit finally got on the board with five minutes remaining in the half when Scotti cashed in a terrific cross-field pass from Sasa Zoric for his first goal in five weeks. The Kixx led at intermission, 5-2.

Spirit coach Mike Stankovic said: "We didn't have that many really good opportunities.

"They [the Kixx] made a lot of blocks [15] and [Pappas] was having a very good game. Maybe we can end it on a high note against Kansas City."

Philadelphia 3 2 2 5 -- 12

Spirit ..... 0 2 0 2 -- 4

Spirit tonight

Opponent: Kansas City Attack

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7: 35 p.m.

Radio: WCBM (680 AM)

Outlook: While the Spirit plays out the string in its sixth season, hTC with the future of the team in doubt, Kansas City (20-18) faces a must-win situation. The Attack is tied with Wichita for the runner-up spot in the Midwest Division and faces road games here and in Cleveland tomorrow. The Wings are playing home-and-home against National Conference champion St. Louis (26-12).

Pub Date: 3/28/98

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