News Release     08/13/2000      Djorn Buchholz    (651) 917-TEAM (8326)

Fire duo scorches Thunder at Milwaukee

Wolyniec, Lavrinenko lead Rampage past Minnesota

Forward John Wolyniec and midfielder Yuri Lavrinenko, on loan from the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS), each scored two goals Sunday as the Milwaukee Rampage defeated the visiting Minnesota Thunder 4-1 in front of 4,428 at Uihlein Soccer Park.

The victory, Milwaukee's 12th straight at home, moved the second-place Rampage (15-6-1, 73 points) closer to Central Division leader Minnesota (18-3-4, 90 points), which lost consecutive A-League games for the first time in nearly two years. The Rampage are 2-0-1 in their last three meetings with Minnesota after losing 11 straight against the Thunder between May 16, 1998, and June 3 of this season.

Thunder defender John Sylvester opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 11th minute, but Wolyniec, who scored both Chicago goals in a 2-1 exhibition win at Minnesota July 19, answered six minutes later. Lavrinenko, making his 13th appearance for Milwaukee, scored an unassisted goal in the 22nd minute and converted Wolyniec's setup in the 31st to double his previous goal total with the Rampage.

"We got the early goal, but then we just let up a bit defensively," said Thunder coach Buzz Lagos. "Now we've got to get back to the nuts and bolts of defending and start working harder to shut the other team down. We can't only be a free-flowing, attacking team; we've got to defend, too."

Wolyniec closed the scoring in the 84th minute with a goal from forward Digital Takawira, a two-time MLS all-star with the Kansas City Wizards.

Including Saturday's 4-0 home loss to Hampton Roads, Minnesota has surrendered three goals in one half three times in eight games. Prior to Orange County's three-goal first half in a 4-3 Thunder win on July 14, Minnesota had gone 85 regular-season and playoff games without allowing three goals in one half.

"This weekend was a little wake-up call for us, telling us we're not as good as we thought we were, but we'll regroup," said Lagos. "We've got three games left before the playoffs, including one against Milwaukee and another against U.S. Pro-40, so we'll really have to come back and play well."

Forward Amos Magee, on loan from the Tampa Bay Mutiny of MLS, and fellow front-runner Chugger Adair played well for Minnesota, said Lagos. Adair made his Thunder debut as a substitute Saturday against Hampton Roads.

MILWAUKEE RAMPAGE 4, MINNESOTA THUNDER 1. Goals: John Wolyniec 17, Yuri Lavrinenko 22, Yuri Lavrinenko (John Wolyniec, Digital Takawira) 31, John Wolyniec (Digital Takawira) 84.

MILWAUKEE - Dan Popik, Steve Bernal, Josh Provan, Alen Soso, Chris Jahr (David Marshall, 70), Brian Loftin (Josh Timbers, 55), Jason Russell, Jason Willan, Yuri Lavrinenko, Digital Takawira (Dennis Fadeski, 85), John Wolyniec.

MINNESOTA - Jon Lowery, Mark Schulte (Don Gramenz, 68), Eric Otto (John Coughlin, 46), John Sylvester, Dionysius Sebwe (Mike Gentile, 65), Brian Winters, Morgan Zeba, Luis Labastida (Stoian Mladenov, 72), Aaron Leventhal (John Menyongar, 78), Amos Magee, Chugger Adair.

SHOTS - Milwaukee 11, Minnesota 16. SAVES - Popik (MIL) 7, Lowery (MIN) 3. FOULS - Milwaukee 20, Minnesota 12. OFFSIDES - Milwaukee 1, Minnesota 4. CORNER KICKS - Milwaukee 2, Minnesota 9. CAUTIONS - Russell (MIL) 3, Provan (MIL) 18, Lavrinenko (MIL) 53. EJECTIONS - None. ATTENDANCE - 4,428. OFFICIALS - Terry Vaughn, Kelly Ross, Steve Davidson, Cory Owens.