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Wright saves day for Bays, 11-9


Baltimore Bays goalkeeper Jason Wright isn't making Kevin Healey's coaching job any easier.

In last week's U.S. Interregional Soccer League opener, Wright made 20 saves as the Bays blew past the Hampton Roads Hurricanes, 13-2.

Last night, before a sellout crowd of 642 at Du Burns Arena in Canton, the former Loyola College standout registered 11 saves in helping Baltimore to an 11-9 North Division victory over the Richmond Kickers.

Now, with former Baltimore Blast goalie Scott Manning expected to make his debut at home next Friday against the Delaware Wizards, Healey is put in the position of having to choose between Wright and the three-time Major Soccer League All-Star.

"Scott is going to start next week, and Jason understands that," said Healey, who helped entice Manning out of retirement and persuade him to accept a part-time position with the Bays during their inaugural indoor season.

"The key to a good player is understanding the situation and understanding his role and Jason understands his role."

Wright said he not only welcomed the day off, but was looking forward to watching one of his childhood idols in action.

"I'm really excited that Scott's going to be around," said Wright, who was credited with an assist on one of Mark Mettrick's first-half goals. "I grew up watching him, and I'm glad he's around because I can learn a lot from him."

Another former Blast star Billy Ronson picked up the first of his team-high three assists when he fed Derrick Marcano for the Bays first goal and his first goal of the season tied the score at 2-2.

Consecutive second-quarter goals by Marcano, Terry Locklear and Mettrick put the hosts ahead 5-2 with 9:43 remaining in the half.

The Bays, whose outdoor season ended after a 3-2 loss to Richmond, watched their lead shrink to one on the Kickers third straight unassisted goal.

Baltimore added three goals in the waning minutes of the first half including two by Mettrick and one by Joe Layfield to take an 8-5 halftime lead.

The Bays kept the home crowd interested by exchanging goals with the Kickers throughout the second half. The interest peaked with 6:48 left in the third quarter when Richmond's John Dugan scored two of his team-high four goals to bring his team to 9-8. Mettrick finished as the games' leading scorer with four goals and one assist. Marcano finished with two goals and one assist, and five other Baltimore players scored single goals.

"Richmond was an extremely talented team outdoors so we knew coming in that they would be tough," Healey said. "They're a strong team, and I'm happy we got out of here with a win."

Richmond 2 3 3 1 -- 9

Baltimore 2 6 1 2 -- 11

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