by Craig Elsten/Sockers

The San Diego Sockers—presented by Kaiser Permanente San Diego—wrap up their Pennsylvania weekend with their second straight contest against the Harrisburg Heat from the Equine Arena at Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Sunday’s match will kick off at 2:05pm PST on @masl_soccer2. 

This weekend concludes the season series between the Sockers (7-0, 20 points) and Heat (1-7, 3 points), and wraps up three-quarters of the Sockers’ interconference schedule. San Diego won at Harrisburg Saturday night by a 5-3 score. In the MASL, the Sockers hold a 5-0 lifetime record against the Heat, including 4-0 in Harrisburg. All-time and dating back to the PASL, the Sockers are 6-0 against Harrisburg. While the Sockers have not lost to the Heat in PASL/MASL play, the matches in Pennsylvania have been close, with San Diego prevailing by scores of 8-3, 7-5, 7-5, 4-1, and 5-3. In the 2022-23 MASL schedule, clubs are separated into two conferences, playing twenty matches within the conference and four matches without. 

The MASL standings are a bit jumbled due to uneven matches played from club to club. The Sockers moved into first place in the Western Conference with Saturday’s win, combined with an overtime loss by the Mesquite Outlaws. San Diego sits with 20 points, one point ahead of Mesquite, two ahead of Chihuahua, and five points in front of fourth-place Ontario. The Sockers and Chihuahua have played two fewer matches than Mesquite. The top three teams in each conference are guaranteed playoff berths, with fourth and fifth place meeting in a Play-in Game to finish the brackets. 

On Saturday night, San Diego played a determined defensive game and put together just enough offense to prevail 5-3 over the Heat. Tavoy Morgan, a former Harrisburg forward who was traded to the Sockers in 2021, scored twice against his former team, including the match-winning goal in the fourth quarter. Defender Juan Manuel Rojo added a goal and two assists, while Boris Pardo stopped 7 of 10 shots faced, moving to 7-0 in net. Harrisburg was held in the match by goalkeeper Chase Vosvick, who made 19 saves. 

San Diego is building off the success of a 23-0-1 regular season in 2021-22, as well as a 6-0-1 playoff run. The club has eleven straight wins in all competitions leading back to the semifinal Match 1 playoff overtime loss to Chihuahua last season. The Sockers have not lost a match in regulation since a 6-4 loss in Ontario on March 13, 2021, a stretch of 48 matches in which they are 44-0-4 (postseason included). They have won 27 straight regular season matches, and 16 in a row on the road.

Harrisburg (1-7, 3 points) has lost five straight matches after upsetting Baltimore 5-4 on December 17. The Heat are 1-2 at home but 0-5 on the road. Top forward Dominic Francis has been held to four matches played and a single goal scored. Danny DiPrima currently leads Harrisburg with (5-3=8) points in eight matches played. Rookie Chase Vosvick has led the team in net with five starts, a 1-4 record, 6.42 GAA, and .705 SV%. Malcolm Harris, Elton de Oliveira, and Alejandro Chavez scored for the Heat on Saturday night.