Defender Pat Morris led the KiXX attack with a pair of goals (Photo courtesy of Philadelphia KiXX).
KiXX Defeat Rampage, 10-9, in Second Game of Home-and-Home
Philadelphia (Sunday, January 10, 2010) – The Philadelphia KiXX (3-5) put itself right back in the thick of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) standings this weekend, with the team completing a two-game sweep in a home-and-home series with the Rockford Rampage (3-4) tonight at the MetroCentre in Rockford. The KiXX raced out to an 8-0 lead in this match-up and held off a late Rampage rally to eventually overcome the host side by a final tally of 10-9.
Philadelphia knew that the key to this match would be a fast start since both sides would be running on some tired legs after playing last night, and the team responded with an early Rey Martinez to Ryan Heins goal at 1:56 to take an early advantage, 2-0. With the final seconds ticking off a power play opportunity for Philadelphia midway through the period, veteran defender Pat Morris, who scored his 175th career goal and registered a hat trick on Saturday, finished a Sandre Naumoski pass at 7:51 to give the KiXX a 4-0 lead.
Philadelphia then came out with the same intensity in the second stanza that they possessed in the opening frame. First, Villanova graduate Joe Taylor struck for his second goal of the season at 1:20 after being fed the ball from Leo Gibson, and Morris scored his second power play goal of the evening at 3:57 to put Philadelphia on top, 8-0. The converted power play, which was assisted by Adauto Neto, was the fifth successful attempt in six opportunities over the six periods the two sides had played over the weekend to that point. With the KiXX defense buckling down and goalkeeper Sanaldo making some key saves, Philadelphia held on the rest of the quarter for its second first half shutout of the Rampage in Rockford this season.
The pace of the third frame slowed down a bit, with the only notch of the period being a Rampage power play goal by midfielder Matthew Stewart to make the score 8-2 in favor of the KiXX.
The fourth quarter began with a Ricardinho to Gibson knock, giving Philadelphia a 10-2 edge, but Rockford then went on a bit of a roll. Barely past the five minute mark, the Rampage put away two goals in nine seconds to make it 10-6, and that tally stood until the closing minutes when Rockford netminder Danny Waltman was pulled in favor of Fabinho as the sixth attacker. The move paid a reward at 12:52, when Rampage midfielder Semir Mesanovic hit a three-pointer to bring his team within one point, 10-9. The action got fast and furious the rest of the way, and Philadelphia battled its way to the final whistle to complete the weekend sweep.
With the win, the KiXX finds itself only a ½ game behind LaRaZa de Monterrey (4-5) and Rockford for third place in the standings, which will eventually be the final position for the MISL playoffs. Picking up two victories this weekend also has Philadelphia just two games out of first place in the standings. The top spot is currently being resided by the Milwaukee Wave (5-3) and Baltimore Blast (5-3).
The next game action for the KiXX is a home match at the Liacouras Center on Saturday, January 23rd, when the team hosts Rockford. Tickets for that contest are available now by calling 1-888-888-KiXX or logging onto www.ComcastTix.com.