SOCKERS NET GAME-WINNER IN OT TO TOP STARS 6-5
ONTARIO, CA. – The Stars (0-1) held a two-goal lead headed to the fourth quarter but the San Diego Sockers (1-0) scored four of the game’s final five goals to top Tacoma 6-5 in overtime. Tacoma keeper Danny Waltman was solid in net for the Stars, making eight saves in the loss.
The first quarter, much like the first two meetings between these teams, was quiet in this game with a lone goal scored. San Diego took a 1-0 lead with less than two minutes to play in the opening quarter on a goal by Brandon Escoto, assisted by Nelson Santana.
The Stars answered by scoring the only two goals of the second quarter. With 13:35 to go in the half, Adriano Dos Santos fed Douglas Lima, who moved to his left and sent a shot off the opposite post past San Diego keeper Boris Pardo to even the game 1-1.
Nick Perera gave Tacoma the lead 2-1 by fighting off a San Diego defender near the left corner, spinning and sending a missile to the back of the net for the final goal of the first half.
It took just over a minute into the third frame for Kraig Chiles to convert a Guerrero Pino assist into a 2-2 game.
The next two goals belonged to Tacoma. Dos Santos sent a pass to Mike Ramos, who took a couple steps inside the yellow line and fired a shot into the upper left corner to put the Stars up 3-2 with 6:01 to go in the third.
Tacoma made it a two-goal lead when Philip Lund drew Pardo off his line leaving Willie Spurr wide open in front of an empty net. Lund sent a pass to his left and Spurr tapped it in for the 4-2 advantage headed to the final quarter.
San Diego’s fortunes would change in the last 15 minutes of regulation. Two quick goals from Hiram Ruiz and Cesar Cerda in the first five minutes of the fourth leveled the score 4-4 with 10:36 remaining.
Following a boarding penalty to Evan McNeley, the Sockers took their first lead of the game on a power play goal from Tavoy Morgan, and it was 5-4 San Diego with 9:27 on the clock.
Tacoma has had success with the 6th attacker this season and Jamael Cox donned the jersey with 3:35 to play. The Stars notched their 7th goal with six attackers on Ramos’ second of the game, assisted by Vini Dantas and regulation ended 5-5.
The Stars controlled much of the overtime period, but San Diego’s Leonardo De Oliveira fed an outlet pass to Christian Gutierrez who had no defenders between him and Waltman. He converted on the breakaway and ended the game by a 6-5 final.
Game 2 of the series will take place Sunday March 28 at Toyota Arena with a 5 pm PT kick-off. Fans can watch live at https://www.facebook.com/MASLsoccer/events.
1st – SD Escoto (Santana) 13:18. Penalties – None.
2nd – TAC Lima (Dos Santos) 1:25; TAC Perera (Dos Santos) 7:26. Penalties – None.
3rd – SD Chiles (Pino) 1:11; TAC Ramos (Dos Santos) 8:59; TAC Spurr (Lund) 13:44. Penalties – SD De Oliveira blue card (tripping) 4:51.
4th – SD Ruiz 1:33; SD Cerda (Chiles) 4:24; SD Morgan (De Oliveira) PP 6:22; TAC Ramos (Dantas) 11:45. Penalties – TAC McNeley blue card (boarding) 5:33.
OT – SD Gutierrez (De Oliveira) 7:37. Penalties – None.
Shots – Tacoma 4-5-5-5-3 (22), San Diego 3-3-6-8-3 (23)
The series moves to Game 2 on Sunday March 28 at Toyota Arena with a 5:00 pm PT kick-off. Should the series be tied 1-1 after Game 2, a 10-minute mini game will follow Game 2 by approximately 30 minutes. You can catch all the action at - https://www.facebook.com/MASLsoccer/events