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Ratcliffe’s Overtime Goal Gets Splash Past Washington

Despite one of his worst performances of the season, Paul Ratcliffe was a hero Thursday, scoring the game-winning goal with 1 1/2 minutes left in overtime in the Splash’s 10-9 victory against Washington in front of 5,939 at USAir Arena in Landover, Md.

Ratcliffe and Denis Hamlett scored fourth-quarter goals to give the Splash a 9-7 lead, but Dante Washington scored two sixth-attacker goals, one with 29 seconds remaining, to send the game into a 10-minute extra period.

The Splash (18-6) reduced its magic number to win the Continental Indoor Soccer League’s Western Division title to two over San Diego . “We were tired and a little shellshocked going into the overtime, but this team has a deep passion for the game. . . . ,” Splash Coach George Fernandez said. “Once you get into overtime, the only thing that’s going to keep you in the game and take you over the top is hard work and a big heart. Tonight, we had both.”

They also had a little luck, as the Warthogs (10-12) twice hit the crossbar while on a power play; the Splash killed the penalty, setting the stage for Ratcliffe at 8:32.

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“It’s ironic because it was one of his worst games; he struggled all night,” Fernandez said of Ratcliffe, who had two goals and an assist. “You can’t look at a stat sheet and see how good he played. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Splash defender Ralph Black had two goals and two assists; his first goal gave him 350 career points in his 13-year indoor career.


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