SD Sockers Defeat Tacoma Stars on the Road
The San Diego Sockers continued their dominant run on Sunday with a comeback win over the Tacoma Stars at ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. The Sockers (20-1) set a franchise record with their 20th regular season win and 18th consecutive victory.
MASL Soccer News: The San Diego Sockers continue to display their dominant form as the 2018/19 Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) playoffs approach in the coming weeks. On Sunday night, the Sockers came from behind to defeat the Tacoma Stars, 8-7, after falling behind 4-0 in the first half.
Brandon Escoto led the Sockers with a goal and three assists, while Leonardo De Oliveira and Kraig Chiles each contributed two goals with an assist. Luis “Pee Wee” Ortega, Brian Farber and Landon Donovan each scored one goal on the night.
Battling for Pacific Division playoff berth with the Ontario Fury (11-11), Tacoma came out with determination, blocking four shots in the first quarter.
Philip Lund’s mid-arc finish off a Nick Perera wall pass at 4:44 gave Tacoma the opening goal of the match and a 1-0 lead. Vince McCluskey and Perera also found the back of the net before the first quarter ended. Rafael Cox’s cheeky back-heel, power-play goal 4:10 into the second quarter extended Tacoma’s lead to 4-0.
San Diego’s first answer came from its captain. Chiles received a perfect through ball on the right flank from Christian Gutierrez and beat Tacoma goalkeeper Danny Waltman with the inside of his right foot.
An individual effort by Ortego shifted momentum at 13:40 of the second quarter. Ortega dispossessed Tacoma in San Diego’s defensive zone and dribbled up the left flank. He rushed three lines down the pitch before striking a shot into the top of the net for a 4-2 scoreline.
Following a pass from De Oliveira, Escoto finished with a clever flick into the net at 13:56, just sixteen seconds after the Ortega goal. With six seconds remaining in the half, Ze Roberto sent a long ball forward to Farber for the headed finish. San Diego leveled the match to 4-4 heading into halftime.
De Oliveira scored twice in the third quarter, including a chipped finish over Waltman, to cap a six-goal run for San Diego. The Sockers held a 6-4 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
The Stars (10-11) rallied with three fourth-quarter goals, but the Sockers countered with a free-kick and power-play goal to seal the victory. Donovan and Chiles were the goalscorers for the Sockers in the final quarter.
San Diego improved to 11-0 on the road while concluding a 4-1 season series with the Stars. The Sockers wrap up their four-match road trip on Thursday, April 4, versus the Ontario Fury. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT at Citizens Business Bank Arena.