It was not the kind of first-half effort Baltimore Bays coach Kevin Healey was looking for in his team's season finale last night against the Hampton Roads Hurricanes.
The Bays defense came out flat-footed and the offense was nowhere to be found for most of the first half. It proved costly, enabling Hampton Roads to build a comfortable 3-0 lead -- all on goals from forward Ian Spooner -- and go on to a 5-3 victory in front of 1,241 at UMBC Stadium.
The Bays concluded their second outdoor season in the U.S. Interregional Soccer League with a 6-12 mark. Hampton Roads improved to 9-8.
"They scored some weak goals and we were a little sluggish in the box in the early going, but came back to make a match of it," Healey said.
Aaron Velli gave the Bays some life with 3:32 left in the first half, scoring off a rebound from in close to cut the Hurricanes' lead to 3-1.
Rob Elliott twice got the Bays within one in the second half, but that's as close as they would get.
Ten minutes into the second half, Elliott was dragged down from behind by a Hampton Roads defender and awarded a penalty kick, which he properly finished to make it 3-2.
The Hurricanes got that goal back midway through the second half when Blake Rogers scored off a give-and-go from Spooner.
Elliott scored his second of the half with 12:43 left -- off a feed from Dan Santoro -- to get the Bays within one, but Karl Byrd gave the Hurricanes a two-goal cushion with less than two minutes left.
Hampton Roads ... 3 ... 2 ... -- ... 5
Bays ............ 1 ... 2 ... -- ... 3
Goals: H -- Spooner 3, Rogers, Byrd; B -- Velli, Elliott 2. Assists: H -- Waite, Sherwood, Spooner, Haywood; B -- Santoro. Saves: B -- Hartlove 5; H -- Figureido 7.