San Diego Sockers Impressive Comeback Victory
The Sockers looked to be headed for their first ever three-game losing streak in the PASL/MASL era as they trailed 6-3 heading into the final 15 minutes.
“I told the players they had a choice to make,” Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio said when asked what he conveyed to his team during the third intermission. “It’s upon them to either dig deep, or we can get killed and go home.”
The players responded in kind. Ze Roberto scored his first goal of the season 45 seconds into the fourth quarter and the comeback was on. Enrique Tovar, Eddie Velez, and Erick Tovar all scored as San Diego rattled off four unanswered goals to take a 7-6 lead.
With just over three minutes to play, a scuffle broke out after a hard challenge and both Bernie Lilavois and Velez were sent to the box. With both teams having four on the field, Ontario brought on a sixth-attacker in Kiley Couch to give the Fury a numbers advantage. The former Dallas man came up trumps, laying the ball off for Mauricio Salles to smash home his second of the afternoon to tie the game at seven with 2:37 seconds remaining.
The Sockers created the better of the chances throughout the overtime period, but could not find the winner.
Kraig Chiles opened the shootout by rounding goalkeeper Sanaldo and putting the ball into an empty net.
Chris Toth then stopped Salles with his feet.
Miguel “Chiky” Luna fired his effort wide, but Toth spared his shooter’s blushes as he was able to get down quickly and deflect Tiguinho’s effort to safety.
That opened the door for Matt Clare to step up, take one touch and curl his effort around Sanaldo to win the game for the Sockers.
The penalty-kill remained perfect on the season. San Diego kept Ontario at bay on both its power play attempts. The Sockers are now six for six in man-down situations. This proved especially crucial as Victor Quiroz was called for tripping at the 13:59 mark of the fourth quarter, meaning San Diego had to see out regulation and play the first 59 seconds of overtime on the back foot.
Seven different players scored for the Sockers while Chiles had two assists. For the Fury, Both Salles and Juan Topete struck twice.
“We played well all game,” Salvagio remarked. “But they’re a good team with a lot of good players and they took advantage of our mistakes. I wish we didn’t have to play them four times.”
The good news is the Sockers won’t see the Fury again until December 19th, but the club continues its road trip next weekend with a trip to the East Coast. San Diego will face off against the Baltimore Blast on Friday night and the Harrisburg Heat on Saturday.