ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Spirit coach Mike Stankovic summed up last night's NPSL East Division contest with Tampa Bay in an expletive-laced tirade outside the locker room.
"[The referees] have no respect for the game," Stankovic said. "They took it away from [the Spirit]. What a performance by the referees. Three referees don't see it!"
"It" was a save Tampa Bay goalkeeper Stuart Dobson made with his hands apparently outside the goalie box in the final seconds of regulation, as the Spirit dropped a 13-11 overtime decision to the last-place Terror.
The Spirit blew an 11-5 fourth-quarter lead. With Sasa Zoric in the penalty box, Tampa Bay (4-8) pulled Dobson, and Jason Vanacour scored the tying goal with 2: 30 left.
Zoric came out of the box in the waning seconds and drilled two shots on goal. Dobson saved the first cleanly, but the rebound caromed away and with six seconds left he made a game-saving save with his hands apparently outside the box. That brought Stankovic out on the arena floor, throwing his blazer to the ground in disgust.
He was rewarded with a five-minute penalty and was ejected. Paul Gelvezon netted the game-winner at 1: 40 of overtime.
"I want to agree with Coach that the officiating was horrible," said Bo Vuckovic, who returned to his former arena and scored the only goal of the third quarter to give the Spirit (6-6) a 9-5 lead.
Opponent: Harrisburg Heat
Site: Baltimore Arena
Time: 7: 35
Radio: Updates after each quarter on WWLG (1360 AM)
Outlook: The Heat, which beat the Spirit, 16-13, in their first meeting, has lost its last three games to fall to 5-7. The team comes to Baltimore well-rested, with its last game last Saturday.
Pub Date: 12/14/96