Pappas and members of the KiXX following his halftime ceremony (Photo by Contrast Photography).
Jersey of 13-Year Goalkeeper Peter Pappas Retired at Halftime
Philadelphia (Sunday, March 21, 2010) – While some unlucky bounces may have prevented the Philadelphia KiXX (8-12) from going to the postseason this year, the character of the team has never been in question. In a night that saw 13-year Philadelphia goalkeeper Peter Pappas have his #22 jersey permanently retired, the KiXX showed its strong resolve to battle past rival Baltimore Blast (12-8), 19-12.
Philadelphia struck first in this match-up, with forward Ptah Myers setting up Semir Mesanovic at 7:13 of the first period to make it 2-0. Baltimore midfielder Pat Healey then responded for the Blast at 11:21, but a KiXX connection at 11:57 from defender Ryan Heins to midfielder Angel Rivillo gave Philadelphia back the lead, 4-2. The KiXX then finished off the quarter with a pair of goals to hang an 8-2 tally, first by Adauto Neto to Myers at 13:02, and player/coach Don D’Ambra then scored a wall pass from midfielder Sandre Naumoski at 14:29. The assist by Neto on the Myers notch made it 19 consecutive games with at least one point.
Philadelphia made it eight unanswered points at the 6:54 mark of the second quarter, with veteran defender Pat Morris scoring a Jeremy Ortiz feed. The Blast ended the run on a Rob Dyachenko to Healey two-pointer at 7:54, but the KiXX retailed at 9:38 when defender Kevin Coleman scored a pass from Neto to make it 12-4. Neto then picked up his third assist of the half at 12:24 on a Naumoski notch, and Philadelphia took a 14-4 advantage into halftime.
The second half scoring got underway at 4:19 of the third frame after Baltimore rookie Max Ferdinand picked up two points on a Guiliano Celenza pass, and Blast forward Carlos Gracia cut the KiXX lead to 14-8 by scoring a feed from defender Mike Lookingland at 7:41. At the 10:59 mark, Baltimore stretched its run to 6-0 on a Ferdinand score of a Sagu assist. The Blast then pulled within two points at 12:38, 12-10, on a Rod Dyachenko to Lookingland knock, before the two sides headed into the final 15 minutes of regulation.
At 3:07 of the fourth stanza, the KiXX stretched its edge back to four points, 16-12, behind a Ricardinho to Morris tally. With the intensity building, Philadelphia buckled down the rest of the way and played solid defense to keep the slate clean. Thanks to a late insurance three-pointer from Myers with just three seconds left on the clock, the KiXX were able to finish off the season with a 19-12 victory. Taking the win in net was Philadelphia goalkeeper Sanaldo with 16 saves.
In terms of the Major Indoor Soccer League playoffs, Baltimore will play a home-and-home series with La RaZa de Monterrey this week, with the winner advancing to the league championship game against the top-seeded Milwaukee Wave on April 4th at 6:00 p.m. EST.
Next up on the docket for the KiXX is its upcoming soccer camp program, which kicks off this summer. For more information regarding camps, call 1-888-888-KiXX.