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KiXX and La Raza battle for final playoff spot Saturday, March 1 at the Spectrum

February 27, 2008 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - Philadelphia KiXX News Release

Philadelphia, PA, February 27, 2008 - The defending MISL Champion Philadelphia KiXX defeated the California Cougars on Saturday, February 23, scoring 15 points in the second half after trailing 10-4 at half time. Midfielder Jonathan Steele scored a hat trick in a game that featured six three-point goals, three from each team. The KiXX look forward to a pivotal game against the Monterrey La Raza on Saturday, March 1. Philadelphia sits a half-game behind Monterrey for the sixth and final playoff spot, with just six games remaining. La Raza is in action on Thursday, February 28 against the Chicago Storm.

This Week's Itinerary:

Wednesday, February 27, Practice, Tri-State Sports, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Thursday, February 28, Practice, Tri-State Sports, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Friday, February 29, Practice, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Saturday, March 1, vs. Monterrey La Raza, 7:05pm ET

Sunday, March 2, Off Day

Monday, March 3, Practice, Tri-State Sports, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Tuesday, March 4, Practice, Tri-State Sports, 10:00am to 12:00pm

*all times are Eastern and subject to change

University of Penn Health Systems Injury Report:

Player Injury Status

Steve Wacker Knee Out

Drew Kopp Knee Out

MEET THE OPPONENT: MONTERREY LA RAZA

3rd Meeting this Season

11/8/07 - KiXX 10 at Monterrey 17

11/17/07 - Monterrey 13 at KiXX 15

Philadelphia traveled to Monterrey for the third game of the season, where they dropped a 17-10 decision to the expansion La Raza. Jose Birche recorded a hat trick, including a three-point goal for seven points in the win. Two weeks later in Philadelphia, the KiXX avenged their loss with a 15-13 win. Aaron Susi scored a goal and two assists and was credited with the game-winner.

Monterrey is led by two familiar faces for the KiXX in Genoni Martinez and Dino Delevski. Both were key members of the 2007 KiXX Champion team. Martinez was named the MISL Defender-of-the-Year for his efforts with Philadelphia, and currently leads La Raza with 18 assists and 51 blocks. Delevski, a former League MVP, leads the entire League with 32 goals in just 20 games. The two were traded to Monterrey during the off-season; in return Philadelphia received Monterrey's first four draft picks in the 2007 MISL Expansion Draft. The KiXX went on to select Aaron Susi, Angel Rivillo, and Gaston Pernia, who they later traded to Orlando for Jonathan Steele. Steele is coming off a hat-trick in the win over California and all three are among the top eight scorers for Philadelphia.

Last Week's Outing(s):

KiXX 19, CAL 15 (2/23) - The KiXX (11-13) defeated the California Cougars (8-13) 19-15 in front of 6,474 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum. Peter Pappas returned from an eye injury to snap the KiXX two-game losing streak and keep the KiXX within a half game of the final playoff spot with six games left. Player/coach Don D'Ambra became just the 10th coach in MISL history to record 100 career wins. Jonathan Steele led the offense with a hat trick, including a three-point goal and Tony Donatelli pitched in two as the KiXX scored 15 points in the second half after being down 10-4 at halftime. The game featured the KiXX first ever Dollar Dog Night and 7th Annual Children's Miracle Network Auction. KiXX rookie Ryan Heins opened the game up with his fourth goal of the season, assisted by D'Ambra who leads the club with 18 assists. The Cougars answered with back-to-back three-point goals from Evan McNeley and Nelson Santana. Jonathan Steele's fifth of season brought the KiXX to within two points. D'Ambra recorded his second assist of the night on the goal. Philadelphia was assessed a bench minor for too many men on the field 6:25 into the second quarter, and the Cougars capitalized just 14 seconds later on Semir Mesanovic's 15th of the season. Player/coach Bernie Lilavois assisted the goal. Lilavois was added to the Cougars active roster on Friday, November 22, after coaching the team for the first 20 games of the season. Lilavois played for and coached the team last season, and retired from playing at the beginning of this season before deciding to come back to help the Cougars who are riddled with injuries. With only 32 seconds remaining in the half, Santana scored a two-pointer to give California a 10-4 lead heading into the locker room. John Barry Nusum buried his first three-pointer of the season with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter to bring Philly with three points. Santana answered with another three-pointer to space the Cougars lead, 13-7. Steele would lead the KiXX comeback charge with back-to-back goals, the second a three-pointer assisted by Chris Williams, to bring Philadelphia to within one point. Tony Donatelli gave the KiXX their first lead of the game, and then scored a shorthanded goal with Aaron Susi in the box to give the KiXX a 16-13 lead. The scoring continued when Enrique Tovar capitalized on his Cougar-leading 18th goal of the season with Susi in the box again for holding. With a 6th attacker on for California, the KiXX defense held strong behind phenomenal saves from keeper Peter Pappas, who got help from Wendell Regis when a ball passed Pappas and Regis stuck his foot out to stop it before the ball crossed the goal line. Ptah Myers finished the Cougars off with an empty net goal with nine seconds remaining.

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