Ricardinho, Mesanovic and Neto were all very active in the scoring tonight (Photo by Contrast Photography).
Philadelphia Forward Adauto Neto Extends Scoring Streak to 14 Games
Philadelphia (Sunday, March 7, 2010) – In order to keep alive its playoff hopes, the Philadelphia KiXX (6-9) had to find a way to get the result over La RaZa de Monterrey (9-9) tonight at The Liacouras Center. Led by a seven-point effort from midfielder Semir Mesanovic in his first game as a member of the Philadelphia roster, the KiXX were able to outscore the visiting La RaZa 8-0 in the fourth quarter and rolled on to a 20-13 victory.
Philadelphia came out with an obvious sense of urgency in this match and took advantage of an early restart opportunity at 3:02. After being fed a ball from Mesanovic, Brazilian playmaker Ricardinho buried a hard shot to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. Continuing to play at a high rate of speed, the KiXX then took a 4-0 edge at 4:41 on an Adauto Neto to Ryan Heins goal. Making himself right at home in Philadelphia, Mesanovic one-touched a Ricardinho ball at 11:32 to make it 6-0, but Monterrey got itself on the board at 14:40 from a Byron Alvarez solo strike. At the first quarter break, the hometown KiXX led this contest, 6-2.
La RaZa found a bit of momentum in the second period, with a pair of early notches from Genoni Martinez at 5:01 and Chile Farias at 6:29 evening the count at six each. Both teams then buckled down and played solid defense the rest of the frame to keep it deadlocked at six when the whistle blew for halftime.
Mesanovic needed just 40 seconds to start the scoring in the third stanza by hitting a deuce from his new best friend, Ricardinho. Neto next stretched the gap back to four points, 10-6, when he pounded home an assist from defender Will Kletzien at 2:23. The hot streak continued for the hosts at 3:40 on a Ricardinho to player/coach Don D’Ambra two-pointer, giving the veteran forward a goal in all six games since returning to the Philadelphia roster. The see-saw then shifted in favor of Monterrey, with a seven-point run giving the visitors its first lead of the evening, 13-12.
With its playoff lives resting on the outcome of the quarter, the KiXX came into the final 15 minutes of regulation playing with a massive amount of intensity. First, Mesanovic completed the hat trick at 2:48 by finishing a Neto feed, and the Philadelphia lead was extended to three points following an unassisted score by midfielder Sandre Naumoski at 3:49. The KiXX kept driving at that point and were able to stretch the gap to 18-13 on a Joe Di Buono to Jeremy Ortiz notch at 9:51, and a final tally at 14:38 from midfielder Ptah Myers hung the final count of 20-13.
On the night, Neto extended his scoring streak to 14 games, and goalkeeper Nick Hovaker turned away nine shots to take the win in his first start of the year in net.
While the road is steep, Philadelphia could still find a way into the postseason if the team is able to get on a streak the rest of way and Monterrey loses one more match. Starting with a Saturday night pairing with the Baltimore Blast this week, the KiXX will play five games in eight days to find out its destiny.
Philadelphia returns home to The Liacouras Center on Sunday, March 14th, when the team hosts the Rockford Rampage for the final time this season. Tickets for that match are available now by calling 1-888-888-KiXX or by visiting www.ComcastTix.com.