KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Spirit found goals hard to come by against a stingy Kansas City Attack defense and fell, 18-10, last night at Kemper Arena.
Only six Spirit shots out of 26, three by Jason Dieter, found the back of the Attack net as the Spirit suffered its first loss in its past four games and fell to 16-15. The Attack won for the first time in three games and improved to 21-9.
The Spirit put on a spurt in the second half and closed to within two of the Attack three minutes into the fourth quarter but never overcame being shut out in the first half, when the Attack was spotted a 5-0 lead.
"The first two goals were given to them," said Spirit defender/coach Mike Stankovic. "Then we gave up a couple of bad goals in the fourth quarter after we got close.
"It was five minutes of playing bad soccer. That cost us the game right there."
The Spirit got off 10 shots on goal but came up empty in the first half.
The Attack's first goal was, in fact, aided by Stankovic. Stankovic tried to play a ball out of the corner to goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro, but Kansas City's Wes Wade sneaked in behind
Branko Segota, took the pass and fired past Vaccaro just 31 seconds into the game.
The Attack scored again 8 1/2 minutes later. Goalkeeper Warren Westcoat (Severna Park) threw a beautiful pass downfield that Goran Hunjak caught with his right foot then, fighting off a Spirit defender, switched to his left foot and scored, giving Kansas City a 4-0 lead.
The only point of the second quarter came from Wade on the power play that came courtesy of a penalty on Stankovic for elbowing Lee Tschantret in the face.
The Spirit outshot the Attack 11-3 in the third quarter but drew no closer. The Attack made good on two of its three shots.
The Spirit made it 10-5 on a shootout goal by Bo Vuckovic after a tripping penalty by Brian Loftin. Dieter then scored on the ensuing power play leading off the fourth quarter, pulling the Spirit to within four.
Dieter completed his hat trick with another goal 2 1/2 minutes later, and the Spirit was within a goal of tying or taking the lead.
But Tschantret added a power-play goal, and Jeff Davis' booming three-pointer off a restart pass from Eloy Salgado with just under eight minutes left made it 14-8, leaving too much for the Spirit to make up.
Pub Date: 2/23/97