Heat double up Saints 10-5
Updated: Sunday, January 19 2014, 05:03 PM EST
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 18, 2014 — After sitting out the first 10 games of the Professional Arena Soccer League season, backup goalkeeper Justin Johnson finally had a chance to play Saturday night and he starred as the Harrisburg Heat beat the Cincinnati Saints 10-5 before a season-high crowd of 2,209 at the Equine Arena of the State Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
Johnson, with regular goalkeeper Sam Bishop sidelined by a foot injury, finished with 14 saves and did not allow a goal between Adam Tenhundfeld’s score that gave the Saints a 3-2 lead with 2:52 left in the first quarter and Eddie Hertsenberg’s unassisted put-back at the 44-second mark of the fourth quarter.
In between, the Heat turned their 3-2 deficit into an 8-3 lead behind goals from David Schofield, Chris Hall, Tom Mellor, Tyler Witmer, Kaoru Forbess and Lester Felician.
The victory moved the Heat (4-7 in the PASL, 6-7 overall) into a tie with the Saints (4-7) for fourth place in the PASL’s Eastern Division. The positioning is critical if — as expected — East-leading Chicago is awarded the league’s Final Four. In that case, the top four teams from the East would qualify for the playoffs with Central and Pacific divisions each getting three berths for the 10-team playoffs.
Schofield, Witmer and Felician each finished with two goals, while Witmer and Felician added an assist for a pair of three-point nights.
Mellor also had a three-point game with a goal and two assists, raising his team scoring lead to 30 points on 14 goals and 16 assists.
The victory was the first as a pro for Johnson, a graduate of Central Dauphin High School and West Chester University. He was 0-2 last season in a pair of starts against Detroit.
Johnson’s first victory also coincided with head coach Richard Chinapoo’s 57th birthday, the last he will spend in Harrisburg as he is moving to Florida after the season.