Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ambush Gets Defensive, Goes 1-Up in Series with Rockers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ambush Gets Defensive, Goes 1-Up in Series with Rockers

Article excerpt

This time, the Ambush decided not to spot the opposition the first game.

Playing chain-link-style defense and getting a big goal from defender Dev Reeves, the Ambush defeated the Detroit Rockers 16-7 Thursday night at Cobo Arena.

The victory put the Ambush 1-up in the best-of-three National Division finals of the National Professional Soccer League playoffs. The Ambush can clinch a berth in the championship round with a victory tonight at The Arena. Game 3, if necessary, would be Saturday night at The Arena.

"Unlike the Milwaukee series, we can breathe a little" tonight, Ambush player-coach Daryl Doran said. His team lost the first-round opener in Milwaukee 29-20 and had to win back-to-back games at home last weekend.

Reeves said the Ambush learned its lesson from the wide-open opener against Milwaukee. The lesson: Play tight defense and the offense will take care of itself.

"Tonight, we came back and got behind the ball," Reeves said. "Then we could take our chances on the counterattack."

That stick-together defensive strategy helped the Ambush forge an 8-2 lead by halftime. But two third-period goals by Tim Ernst (DeSmet High) and a silly penalty by the Ambush put the Rockers back in the game.

John Klein was whistled for a handball penalty with 3 seconds to go in the third when he reached up and redirected Doran's shot into the nets. Sean Bowers converted the shootout attempt and Detroit suddenly trailed only 10-7.

But the Ambush killed off the Rockers' power play at the start of the fourth. Then midway through the period, Reeves delivered the goal of the game - with lots of help from rookie Kevin Groark.

Groark, holding the ball against three defenders along the boards, passed cross-field to Reeves, who struck a bullet high into the nets. That made it 12-7 and Detroit's challenge had ended.

"With a triple-team, there should be six legs around the ball," Detroit coach Brian Tinnion said. …

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