Mania meets its first goal, but loses 4th in shootout

Haskins gives team lead, but Silverbacks win, 2-1

May 21, 1999|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Mania finally broke into the scoring column last night at UMBC Stadium, but still lost its fourth consecutive A-League game, 2-1, falling short in a shootout against the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Atlanta trailed for much of the game but after tying the score at 1 in the 81st minute, controlled the rest of play, including a scoreless, 15-minute sudden-death overtime, and took the shootout, 3-1.

The first goal in Mania history -- breaking the team's 303-minute scoring drought -- came in the 23rd minute from its first signee, Columbia's Todd Haskins, a midfielder who banged a deflected pass from forward Lloyd Barker into the lower-right corner from 8 yards. Haskins had initiated the sequence with a pass inside the box to Barker from the right flank.

"It's a nice feeling," Haskins said about the score, "but without the win, I can't go home and celebrate." The 0-4 Mania remains the only winless team in the 16-team Eastern Conference.

Substitute midfielder Garfield Shaw put in the Mania's only shootout goal. Atlanta clinched the shootout on defender Zion Renfrum's goal.

With luck, the Mania's 1-0 halftime lead could have been larger. But Atlanta keeper Bo Oshoniyi tipped Barker's 9-yarder over in the 16th minute, and two Mania attackers missed close-in attempts in the 41st before a defender cleared the ball.

Atlanta, pressing play as regulation time ran down, knotted things at 1 when midfielder Guy Valcourt touched a pass through pulled-up Mania defenders to Zairean forward Ignace Moleka, who carried the ball 35 yards alone, slipping his shot past Mania keeper Russell Payne from about 15 yards.

Mania coach Paul Kitson attributed the loss to a lack of fitness, a situation he said has improved, but still has a way to go. Several of his players cramped up late on the cool, spring evening before an announced crowd of 312.

"Maybe better things will happen to us on Sunday," Kitson said, referring to the team's next game, against the league-champion Rochester Raging Rhinos. Last night's game was the first of four in 10 days for the Mania.

(Atlanta wins shootout, 3-1)

Goals: A--Moleka; M--Haskins. Assists: M--Barker. Saves: A--Oshoniyi 3; M--Payne 9. Yellow cards--M 2; A 0.

Pub Date: 5/21/99

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