The Baltimore Bays kept their playoff hopes alive, thanks in large part to Tarik Walker.
Walker, a forward from Wheaton, scored two goals to lead the Bays to a 4-3 victory over the Connecticut Wolves last night before 786 at UMBC Stadium.
The win, which ended their losing streak at three, raised the Bays' record in the U.S. Interregional Soccer League's Atlantic Division to 4-9. They jumped over the idle Richmond Kickers into a fifth-place tie with Connecticut, each with 48 points. They trail fourth-place Charleston by five points.
Walker gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead with his third goal of the season and made it 3-1 eight minutes later.
"Tarik has power, strength and speed," said coach Kevin Healey of the former Good Counsel High and Virginia Tech player. "He has the ability to take over a game."
Derrick Marcano's goal in the 71st minute gave the Bays a season-high four. Robert Tonewo and Stephen Coxon brought Connecticut within 4-3.
Rob Elliot scored the game's first goal, and his first of the season, at the 26-minute mark. It was the Bays' first shot; at that point, Connecticut had taken six.
Elliot, a former Calvert Hall and current UMBC star, started 10 yards beyond midfield, dodged three defenders as he raced downfield and drew goalie Des McAleenan out of the goal. Elliot deftly chipped the ball past him into the empty net.
Connecticut tied it at 1-1 four minutes into the second half on Terry Jackson's header. Tonewo's shot hit the post and Jackson headed in the rebound.
Four of the division's nine teams will qualify for the first round of the playoffs. If the team that finishes fifth during the regular season is within nine points of No. 4, it will travel to No. 4's field for a one-game playoff for the final playoff spot.