The Baltimore Bays used a four-goal third quarter to shake off the visiting Delaware Wizards and make Scott Manning's return in goal a successful one.
Terry Locklear and Eric Riedlbauer both had two goals and an assist to lead the Bays to an 11-2 win in a U.S. Interregional Soccer League game at Du Burns Arena last night. The Bays improved their record to 3-0.
Manning got a warm ovation from the sellout crowd of 644. He looked right at home in goal after a three-year layoff, coming up with nine saves.
"We had a good time tonight," he said.
"You got to give the guys in front of me a lot of credit. We made some adjustments at halftime, and everything worked out well."
After a tight first half in which the Bays took a 3-2 lead, they made adjustments during intermission and wore down the visiting Wizards, who helped a bit by self-destructing early in the third quarter.
Veteran Billy Ronson gave the Bays a 4-2 lead when he sent a ball along the boards that went through the legs of Wizards goalie Mark Puigan.
Midway through the quarter, Joe Barger fired a shot from the right side that went off a Delaware defender. The Bays' attack put the game away by scoring six more goals before it was over.
"We were all just trying too hard in the first half. The guys with the ball were trying to do too much and the guys without the ball weren't moving," Bays coach Kevin Healey said.
"We were much more patient in the second half and things worked out well. Everyone did some scoring and that's how we play. All three of these wins were total team efforts."
It didn't take the Bays long to give Manning a lead. Billy Ronson fed Locklear 1:07 into the game and Locklear scored his second of the game 7:10 in to give the Bays a 2-0 lead.
Delaware's La La Bujak scored 30 seconds later for the Wizards to cut the lead to 2-1.
Manning looked more comfortable as the game went along, coming up with two big saves at the end of the first quarter to keep the lead at 2-1.
The Bays controlled the majority of the second quarter, killed off a penalty and added to their lead when Steve Ware tapped home a Joe Koziol shot 4:41 into the quarter. Koziol also was making his debut with the Bays last night after scoring 43 goals for the Baltimore Spirit last season.
It proved out to be the game-winner after Delaware cut the lead to 3-2 on Bujak's second goal right before intermission.
Manning has already been a valuable asset to the Bays, although he only started his first game last night.
He knew going into the season he had prior commitments, so he and the Bays worked out a deal that allows him to play on a part-time basis.
This has enabled the Bays to bring along goalkeeper Jason Wright, who has 31 saves in the Bays first two wins.