Sloan, Spirit formidable to Terror, 20-10 Some familiar faces not so kind to Cooper

THE BALTIMORE SUN

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Midway through the fourth quarter of Baltimore's game against Tampa Bay, Terror goalkeeper Denny McCaughey sat on the ground for a minute, raising both hands in exasperation.

McCaughey, spelling starter Bill Andracki, who was nursing a strained left knee, had allowed a Baltimore goal, the Spirit's sixth of the game and Kevin Sloan's fourth of the night.

And Sloan's final goal, the 14th point of the night for Baltimore, sealed the Spirit's 20-10 victory over the Terror.

Baltimore (8-3) spoiled a reunion for coach Kenny Cooper, who faced his old team for the second time this season, the first at the Bayfront Center.

Cooper began the indoor soccer franchise 15 years ago, serving as the team's only coach until he resigned last year to take over the Terror. While in Baltimore, Cooper earned two Major Indoor Soccer League Coach of the Year honors and a league championship in 1983. When Baltimore switched leagues three years ago, changing its name from the Blast to the Spirit, Cooper guided his team to two league titles.

Last night, though, was a different scene for Cooper.

"It's different after being involved with a franchise that won a lot of games in Baltimore," Cooper said. "I've been in the indoor league for 15 years and some of the guys we have here are in their first.

"I certainly didn't think we'd be in this position right now. . . . I want to win very badly especially for the fans at home."

Early on, Cooper stood on the sideline, arms folded, pacing. Within the first 10 minutes, he had seen enough.

Cooper watched two of his former players, Franklin McIntosh and Sloan, score a combined three goals, helping the Spirit build a 8-2 lead.

Sloan started the scoring by knocking in a two-point goal within the first four minutes. Twenty-seven seconds later, Zak Ibsen added another two-pointer, giving the Spirit a 4-0 lead.

Tampa Bay came back with its only goal of the quarter, a two-point blast by Mali Walton.

An aggressive attack helped Baltimore take control, as it scored the next three goals for a 10-2 lead.

Spirit tonight

Opponent: St. Louis Ambush

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7:35

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)

Outlook: The Ambush, the defending National Professional Soccer League champion, is making its only visit here of the season. The Ambush (7-2) still leads the league in defense (109 points allowed), despite a 24-16 loss last week to the Wichita Wings that broke a six-game winning streak. Jamie Swanner had 50 saves as St. Louis split two games with Wichita. Joe Reiniger and Steve Kuntz lead the offense with 38 and 37 points, respectively.

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