Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Backup Cowie Backstops Ambush to Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Backup Cowie Backstops Ambush to Win

Article excerpt

This is how well things are going for Ambush player-coach Daryl Doran and his National Professional Soccer League team:

Doran gives his backup goalie, Bill Cowie, his first start of the season season Sunday against the Detroit Rockers at Kiel Center. Cowie responds with a 26-save performance, yielding only three goals, and the Ambush rolls to its sixth victory in a row 22-6.

When you're hot, you're hot.

The winning streak is a club record. At 9-2 on the season, the Ambush is off to its best start in club history.

"I think they're the best team in the league right now," Detroit coach Brian Tinnion said.

The Rockers and Ambush waged a down-to-the-wire fight for the National Division regular-season title last season, with the Ambush winning by one game. But this season, the Ambush isn't waiting for Detroit (4-6).

Both teams came into Sunday's game with lengthy injury lists, but the Ambush replacements didn't disappoint the crowd of 4,269. They seemed to play as well as the regulars.

"St. Louis has so much depth," Tinnion said. "They don't miss a beat. That's the key."

Cowie started because Doran wanted to give Jamie Swanner, the NPSL player of the month in November, a rest. Regulars Joe Reiniger, Todd Lauer and Kevin Groark were out because of injuries.

In their stead, Doran got solid efforts from benchwarmers John Gates, who scored his first professional goal, and Scott Marty, as well as newcomer Steve Trittschuh.

"It's tremendous to see people who do step in are contributing," Cowie said. "They're not just stepping in and the tone of the game goes down a level. It stays up.

"It doesn't matter who Daryl substitutes. Everybody is doing his part. That's why it's so much fun playing on this team."

Given his team's win streak, scoring average and tight defense, Doran said it would be hard to claim that his team could get much better.

"Everybody is doing what they've told and we're looking good," he said. "But I don't want to go too far as to say we're in top form yet because we haven't played Baltimore and we haven't played Cleveland."

Cleveland, the defending champion, is off to an even faster start than the Ambush with a 10-1 mark. …

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