New home, old story for Mania in loss

A-League team falls to Lynx in Arnold, 1-0

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

The Maryland Mania turned over a new leaf yesterday in its brief A-League existence, but except for the positive of playing on real grass in Arnold instead of plastic in Catonsville found only more bad memories.

First, the team, obviously dispirited, probably by front-office cash-flow struggles and the departure of a couple of players, came out flat on its new home field at Anne Arundel Community College and lost its fourth 1-0 match.

This one really hurt, because it was to the Eastern Conference's other 1-8, last-place team, the Toronto Lynx.

Second, Mania management saw its Father's Day hopes of a serious attendance boost for the checkbook washed away by driven drizzle, which limited fans in the stands to a charitably announced 256.

Third, the chemistry of slick field and abilities of two teams with one regulation win -- by the Mania -- in 18 tries between them coming in yielded a hash of a game.

It had more cheap fouls and arguments -- between opposing players, Lynx teammates, both coaches, the Mania bench and a linesman, and Toronto's coach and the referee -- than notable plays. And with few exceptions, neither side seemed able to keep possession for more than three passes in a row.

The Lynx won on one of those sequences in the 33rd minute, a 14-yard strike by forward Dos Santos, fed by Lloyd Barker, another forward whom the Mania released last week.

"We had no chances -- no half-chances," Mania coach Paul Kitson said afterward, perhaps eight of his dressed players sitting glumly nearby. Well after most had left the field, two had remained on the team's bench in the rain -- apart, each lost in his own world.

"We've been in most of the games we've lost," Kitson said. "But this was our poorest performance since I've been here. I really think we took a couple steps backward today."

Goal: Toronto, Santos (33rd minute). Assist: Toronto, Barker. Shots: Toronto 12, Mania 6. Saves: Toronto, Larkin 2; Mania, Payne 4. Yellow cards: Toronto 3, Mania 1. Halftime: 1-0 Toronto.

Mania schedule

June 25, at Charleston, 7: 30; 26, at Jacksonville, 7: 35.

July 3, Hershey, 7: 35; 9, Indiana, 7: 35; 17, at Hershey, 7: 35; 24, at Atlanta, 7: 35; 28, at Lehigh Valley, 7: 30; 30, at Indiana, 8: 35.

August 1, Pittsburgh, 4: 05; 7, at Long Island, 7: 30; 8, at Staten Island, 7: 00; 13, at Hershey, 7: 05; 15, Hershey, 4: 05; 20, at Boston, 7: 30; 21, at Connecticut, 7: 30; 27, Richmond, 7: 35; 29, Raleigh, 4: 05.

Pub Date: 6/21/99

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