With view from bench, Vaccaro sees Spirit to victory, 23-17


Cris Vaccaro got the win, but it wasn't like the other 246 in his 15 years as a pro goalie. He didn't make so much as one save.

This win was as a coach.

While Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams, still complaining of dizziness, watched from the stands, player/assistant coach Vaccaro directed the Spirit (7-2 ) to a 23-17 victory over the Dayton Dynamo last night before 4,724 at the Baltimore Arena.

MacWilliams missed practice Thursday and was hospitalized briefly for tests, which were negative, but he was behind the bench Friday night. He will undergo more tests tomorrow.

Vaccaro, who has missed the past six games with a pulled hamstring, watched No. 2 goalie Joe Mallia make 22 saves to raise his record to 5-1.

"It was an interesting experience and I enjoyed it immensely," Vaccaro said. "Making decisions that affect the players makes it a whole different outlook than when you're playing. I can see why coaches get a lot of gray hairs."

Despite its 7-2 record, the Spirit remains in second place in the National Professional Soccer League's American Division behind the Cleveland Crunch (5-1), which edged the Canton Invaders, 12-11.

Jon Parry, who returned Friday night after missing three games with a sprained ankle, led the Spirit with four goals. Mallia had two assists.

Three-point goals by Brad Smith and Kevin Sloan raised the Spirit's total to 11 in nine games, matching its entire 1993-94 season's output.

In the first half, Parry gave the Spirit an early 4-0 lead with a pair of two-point goals. Dennis Brose, the National Professional Soccer League points leader, and Greg Sczurek tied it at 4.

The Spirit then scored eight of the game's next 10 points for a 12-6 halftime advantage. Tim Wittman had two goals and Smith had his second three-pointer in two nights.

NOTES: Ex-Spirit Clark Brisson played for the first time since Dayton's opener, when he aggravated a preseason hamstring injury. "I only played a few shifts in that first game, so I'm anxious to play," Brisson said. . . .Brisson and Rob Ukrop were traded to Dayton in September for Sloan and Mallia. Another Dynamo player, Brad Smith, was purchased by the Spirit early this month. . . .The Spirit's Jamie Christie (hamstring) missed the game and Tarik Walker played despite an ankle injury. . . .Dayton's Scott Cook and Mike Gosselin missed the game with injuries. . . .Next for the Spirit are road games against the Cleveland Crunch on TC Friday and the Harrisburg Heat on Saturday.

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