Spirit wins 10th straight, 16-10


ROSEMONT, Ill. -- This streak may never end.

Thanks to Tim Wittman's late goal, the Baltimore Spirit won its 10th consecutive game to start the season last night, stopping ++ the Chicago Power, 16-10, before 7,065 at the Rosemont Horizon.

"We wanted to prove we could play on the road," said Spirit coach Kenny Cooper. "We managed to respond when the game was on the line. They played with a lot of pride."

Wittman, who scored twice in the final quarter, scored 10 seconds after the Power had pulled within 12-10. Wittman's 11th goal of the year came with 2:42 left.

"I'm very frustrated," said Power player/coach Pato Margetic, whose team dropped its fourth straight game. "You have to win the home games."

Goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro ensured the Spirit's victory when he threw the ball the length of the field for an empty-net goal with 47 seconds remaining. Until then, the Spirit had not trailed but had not been ahead by more than four points.

"The key for us was not to let the crowd into the game late," Cooper said.

After Margetic scored early in the final quarter to tie the game at 8, the Spirit quieted the crowd with two a minute apart. Jason Dieter broke the deadlock on a counterattack with 10:02 remaining. The Power (3-7) was again pushing forward when the Spirit increased its lead to 12-8 on Wittman's first goal.

Keder, who had been benched for most of the game by Margetic, made things interesting by scoring with 2:52 to play. The Power had just gone to a sixth attacker when Keder scored his fourth goal of the season.

Off the kick, though, the Spirit rushed downfield, and Wittman followed up Clark Brisson's shot for the decisive goal. Brisson had a goal and two assists, giving him 18 points in the past five games.

"We're getting a lot of help from unsung heroes," Cooper said. "Defensively, we played tremendously."

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