Terry Locklear bounced home a leaning header in the 65th minute to lift the Baltimore Bays to their first victory ever, 3-2, over the Columbia (S.C.) Spirit in a United States Interregional Soccer League Atlantic Division match before 1,027 last night at UMBC Stadium.
Baltimore, with its first multigoal game, is 1-4. Columbia fell to 1-3.
Less than a minute after Columbia's Craig Appleby scored his second goal of the game -- a 22-yard direct kick -- to tie it at 2, Bays stopper Joe Barger initiated the winning sequence with a ** pass down the left sideline to a free Sam Mangione.
Mangione's long cross sailed to the far side of the penalty area, where John Stroud headed the ball back toward the goal. Locklear, at an 8-yard diagonal from the right post, leaned down, took the ball on one hop and used his head to drive the ball into the ground.
Locklear's second goal of the season bounded in front of Spirit goalkeeper Damon Ambrose, looped over his head and then bounced behind him before rolling into the net.
"I thought the keeper was going to dive over and get it," said Locklear, who also had an assist. "It gave us a boost to come right back and keep them from getting momentum."
Mangione said there was nothing precise about his pass. "I was trying to drive it hard," he said. "I knew we had a couple guys filling the space. I don't know who or where I was aiming, to tell the truth. I just saw a couple red [Baltimore] shirts."
Baltimore dominated possession throughout, but Columbia converted a Bays turnover into the game's first goal. Spirit midfielder Mark Root intercepted a clear and promptly fed a wide-open Appleby facing the right post from 12 yards. Appleby quickly beat Bays goalkeeper Steve Powers with a shot that scraped the bottom of the crossbar in the 29th minute.
Tentative play by Ambrose allowed Jeff Nattans to pull the Bays even. Nattans' long right-side throw-in squirted through Ambrose's hands, forcing Columbia's Victor Pace to clear the ball over his end line. Ambrose should have routinely handled Billy Ronson's ensuing left-side corner-kick, but instead he punched it weakly.
Nattans, running hard across the box from the far side, lifted the ball with the outside of his right foot into the top of the vacant net at the 31-minute mark.
Stroud's play on the left wing led to Mark Mettrick's second goal of the season that gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead 30 seconds before intermission.
Stroud found Locklear in front of the goal. Ambrose, standing straight up, was able to stop Locklear from six yards, but the ball squirted to Mettrick, who drove the ball hard into the empty net from eight yards.
Columbia 1 1 -- 2
Bays 2 1 -- 3