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Handsor leads Cougars over the Philadelphia KiXX, 8-6 in overtime

November 30, 2007 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - California Cougars News Release

Philadelphia, PA - Nov. 30, 2007 - Chris Handsor led the Cougars with four points on two goals, including a thrilling game winning goal in overtime, as the California Cougars earn a hard fought 8-6 win in Philadelphia over the defending MISL champion KiXX.

Less than a week ago former Cougar Aaron Susi scored two goals against his old team, this time it was the former KiXX forward Handsor who played outstanding against his former squad. Handsor played for Philadelphia briefly in the 1996-97 season and from 2001-03. His best year in the MISL came in 2001-02 where he scored 102 points on 36 goals and 26 assists. He now has 15 points through six games after his four point game at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Brian Farber was a key part of the game winning play as he took an Evan McNeley pass from the halfway line all the way down to the right side of the goal. Farber then sent a quick pass to the center of the box where Handsor leaned low to the field turf to fire off the volley into the net. The game winning score came with 12:19 left in the overtime quarter.

The game started off at a slow pace but caught steam when Enrique "Qeeks" Tovar scored the first goal in the second quarter. His goal, assisted by Eduardo Velez, came 8:35 into the second. Tovar is tied for the league lead with 21 points this year.

The Cougars offense did exactly what Coach Bernie Lilavois wanted... it showed up. The Cougars took 11 shots at the goal in the second quarter, compared to zero in the second by Philadelphia. However, they did not maintain that pressure into the third quarter and waited till the end of the third to score again.

Philadelphia came on strong at the beginning of the third with a goal by Coach Don D'Ambra. D'Ambra was part of each of the scores in the game for Philadelphia. The KiXX tied the game and then took the lead on a Ptah Myers goal, assisted by his coach, at the 7:13 mark. The Cougars trailed 4-2 until Craig Scheer tied the game late in the third quarter at 10:14 into it. California then regained the lead at the 11:41 mark with Handsor's first goal of the night.

The Cougars led 6-4 heading into the final quarter and started to pressure the KiXX again with shots on goal. The Philly defense was strong throughout the game with 14 team blocks including three by team captain Pat Morris. Philadelphia also received 12 saves against 16 shots faced for goalkeeper Peter Pappas. However, the Cougars answered the defensive stops with 30 total shots in the game. In the fourth alone California sent nine shots at Pappas and the KiXX defense.

The Cougars defense played equally as well as they stopped eight shots in the game, and were led with four blocks by defender Ryan Hall. Sanaldo made several outstanding saves. He finished with nine saves out of 12 shots faced.

The Cougars even prevented their former teammate, Susi, from scoring as the sixth attacker. But, could not prevent Philadelphia from scoring one last time. With just :48 seconds left, and the sixth attacker out, KiXX midfielder Angel Rivillo tied the game with his team leading 16th point of the year. Again the assist came from D'Ambra.

The Cougars had several chances to win the game in regulation. They appeared to score the game winner with less than 10 seconds remaining when Eduardo Velez stole the ball away from Jonathan Steele and sent a perfect feed at Handsor. He looked to have knocked the ball in the goal off his chest but the officials took the goal away, claiming that it hit Handsor's hand before going into the goal.

The game was then sent to overtime where the Cougars were able to prevail with the 8-6 victory. The Cougars improve to 4-2 all time in overtime periods, and have won two straight road games to even their record at 3-3 for the season.

California will finish its east coast road trip with a match against the Baltimore Blast at First Mariner Arena tomorrow night. The game is scheduled for a 4:35PT start and will air on 1420KSTN in Stockton as well as online at www.californiacougars.net. The Blast lost to the Detroit Ignition 11-4 in a game aired on Fox Soccer Channel just after the Cougars game. The Cougars return home on December 9 against Monterrey La Raza. Tickets are available by phone at (209) 373-1550 or on the internet at www.californiacougars.net.

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