The Baltimore Bays scored five unanswered goals in the second quarter and followed with a team-record nine goals in the third to rout the Richmond Kickers, 18-6, last night at Du Burns Arena.
The Bays, who clinched the U.S. Interregional Soccer League's Northern Division two weeks ago, finished the regular season with a perfect 11-0 record as they prepare for the league championship here next weekend.
It was the fourth time this season they've beaten the second-place Kickers.
Mark Mettrick and Eric Riedlbauer led the way with three goals apiece.
Billy Ronson had four assists to increase his league-leading total 34.
Trailing 3-2 after the first quarter, the Bays put the game out of reach with five straight goals.
Forward Derrick Marcano scored on a header two minutes into the second quarter to tie the score at 3.
Mettrick scored on a power play to give the Bays a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.
Steve Ware found the same right corner of the net less than a minute later and the Bays were on their way. Joe Barger and Mettrick closed out the first-half scoring to give the Bays their 7-3 lead.
"We relaxed for a while and [Richmond] got back into the game, but then we came back and scored some unbelievable goals," said Bays coach Kevin Healey.
"We played very well and the guys are working really hard. We're looking forward to bringing an indoor championship to Baltimore."
Koziol, Jeff Nattans and Eddie Quick each scored twice in the Bays' nine-goal third period.
The lone lowlight in the quarter came when Barger was given a red card for fighting. He was ejected from the game and his status for the first playoff game next week is undetermined.
"That was disappointing, Joe is a key player for us," Healey said. "But we'll be prepared to play without him if we need to."
The Bays jumped out to an early lead with Steve Nichols scoring 48 seconds in and Terry Locklear adding another one less that two minutes later to give them a 2-0 lead.
Nichols' goal set a Bays record for quickest at the start of a game.
The visiting Kickers answered with the next three goals to take a 3-2 lead after one quarter.
Bobby Johnston scored the Kickers first goal and later got the go-ahead goal off his own rebound with 2:16 left.
The Bays and Du Burns Arena will host the U.S.I.S.L. National Soccer Championship next weekend.
The top teams in each of the league's three divisions will be at Du Burns Arena with one wild-card team.
Two games will be played on Friday and Saturday with the championship game slated for 3 p.m. Sunday. The Bays will begin their title quest at 8:15 p.m. Friday.