by San Diego Sockers

SAN DIEGO, CA—Rian Marques netted a hat trick with an assist for a four-point night, as the Kansas City Comets exploded for eight second-half goals, overwhelming the San Diego Sockers 9-4 on Sunday night at Pechanga Arena. Lucas Souza added two goals and two assists for Kansas City (9-6-4, 31 points), who snapped a six-match losing streak on the road.

Sockers captain Kraig Chiles scored a pair of goals for the Sockers (14-3, 40 points), giving him 475 goals and 700 points for his career. The milestone came on a night when San Diego suffered the most lopsided home loss in modern Sockers history. It was the first five-goal regular season home loss since the club returned to action in 2009. The Sockers took a 10-5 playoff loss to Soles de Sonora in the 2016 Pacific Division Finals.

“Disappointing,” said Chiles of the loss, “We don’t lose many games at home, but it wasn’t our night, not our result.”

Kansas City came into the night having lost nine of their last ten matches, but battled the Sockers from the opening whistle. Chiles scored on a Brandon Escoto assist 4:10 into the match, but the San Diego offense was held off the scoreboard for the next 32 minutes by a stern Comets defense that blocked 14 shots. Marques scored his first of the night at 8:09 of the second quarter, and the match was tied 1-1 at the half.

Tavoy Morgan, returning to the Sockers lineup after missing two matches due to injury, netted a brace for San Diego, including the equalizer at 6:15 of the third quarter for a 2-2 tie. Marques scored a power play goal for 3-2 KC at 7:32, but Morgan answered back with a lovely snap-header goal on a Charlie Gonzalez looping cross pass to knot the score 3-3 at 8:13.

The Comets took control of the match for good with three straight goals in quick order. Ramone Palmer netted at 8:59 to retake the lead, and Ray Lee (10:08) and Souza (13:40) found the net quickly thereafter, taking advantage of San Diego turnovers trying to escape their zone.

The Sockers had a look to get back in the match when Kansas City was given two blue cards in the fourth quarter, both resulting in penalty kicks. Chiles smashed home the first at 1:24 for his 700th career point, but when the Comets’ Michael Lenis was called for a handball in the box at 5:17, the ball was placed back at the penalty spot. This time, Chiles deferred to Charlie Gonzalez, whose shot banged off the bottom of the crossbar and went 85% over the line, but not all the way. San Diego failed to convert the power play to follow.

“I gave Charlie the chance thinking it could light him up and get him going for the rest of the match,” Chiles explained.

Marques finished his hat trick at 10:56 of the fourth quarter to all-but ice the match at 7-4. San Diego turned to a six-attackers strategy, but Robert Palmer and Zach Reget quickly scored into the empty net at 13:26 and 14:05 to set the final score.

The Sockers return to the Pechanga Arena home floor on Friday when they host the Empire Strykers on Star Wars Night, a 7:35pm kickoff. Tickets are available by calling (866) 799-GOAL or visiting