Savage Snap Sockers Win Streak

by Pete Richmire

SAN DIEGO—Cleberson Rodrigues netted a goal and assist and Diego Reynoso shined in net with 16 saves as the Chihuahua Savage slammed the door on the San Diego Sockers Sunday night with a 5-1 victory at Pechanga Arena. The Sockers were shut out for over 57 minutes on their home floor, seeing a 25-match regular season home win streak come to an emphatic end.
Playing their second of four interstate back-to-back weekends, the Sockers’ dreams of a perfect campaign were left at baggage claim, while a determined Chihuahua Savage team played their most important match of the season. San Diego (6-1) won in Tacoma 6-5 on Saturday night, while the Savage were able to watch and rest lying in wait in San Diego. The Sockers, with a flight delayed in Tacoma, flew into San Diego in the early afternoon and came straight to the arena. The result was a dominant win for the visitors that shocked a Sockers home crowd of 1,658 unused to such a display. The Savage shut out San Diego in each of the first three quarters, building a 4-0 lead they would never relinquish.
“It’s a learning lesson for us,” said head coach Phil Salvagio, “It’s good to lose and learn, and we’re going to learn a lot from this match.”
Chihuahua (3-4) snapped a four-match losing streak, winning in the debut of new head coach Genoni Martinez. The Mexican indoor legend had his team primed and pumped to dethrone the Sockers, winning against San Diego for the first time in seven regular-season attempts. Chihuahua beat the Sockers in the semifinals of the Ron Newman Cup playoffs last season.
The Savage announced just minutes before the match an important roster addition, as longtime veteran Mexican indoor goalkeeper Diego Reynoso signed a player contract with Chihuahua. Reynoso, a former champion with Monterrey and a three-time selection to the Mexican Indoor National Team, stopped 16 of 17 shots in a calm and controlled performance.
A scoreless first quarter was nonetheless a portent of things to come, as Chihuahua dominated possession and control. Poper Hernandez’s goal at 2:41 of the second quarter gave the Savage a lead they would never concede. Arturo Valle, Hugo Puentes, and Rodrigues all scored in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 4-0 after 45 minutes.
San Diego opened the fourth quarter in a six-attackers offensive formation, but still could find no joy, routinely misconnecting on short passes. Finally, at 12:18 of the fourth, Tavoy Morgan netted his tenth goal of the season on a pass from Charlie Gonzalez, ending the potential for the club to be shut out for the first time in its modern history. The last time the Sockers were shut out in a regulation match was December 12, 1988 in the MISL, a 3-0 loss to Dallas. (San Diego has been shut out in Knockout Game 15-minute playoff matches twice, in 2016 and 2023.)
“Chihuahua had more energy than us today,” said Morgan, “They wanted it more than we did, and they got it.”
The Sockers have little time to regroup, as they will head up I-15 on Wednesday night for a meeting with the Empire Strykers, a 7:05pm kickoff. San Diego returns home on Saturday, January 27 to take on the St. Louis Ambush at 7:05pm. Tickets for the match are available by calling (866) 799-GOAL or visiting