The last time the San Diego Sockers faced the Tacoma Stars, they couldn’t seem to crack goalkeeper Danny Waltman, as the goalkeeper made 26 saves to help the Stars upset the Sockers.
However, on Friday San Diego had Waltman’s number.
Thanks to a five-goal fourth quarter and a hat trick from Brandon Escoto, the Sockers ripped six goals past Waltman and three past a sixth attacker to bring home a 9-4 victory against the Stars and expand their lead in the Pacific division to four games.
For the fifth straight game, San Diego started off on the wrong foot. Springing open after being left uncovered, Raphael Cox buried a left-footed shot into the back of the net to give Tacoma the first lead. Tying the game up minutes later was Kraig Chiles, who scored the goal while tumbling to the ground. Seconds later, an own goal by the Stars gift-wrapped San Diego a 2-1 lead.
The Stars just wouldn’t stay down, tying the game up twice in both the second and third quarter. The first tie came after a flurry of blue cards sent one Star and two Sockers to the box for two minutes and player-coach Nick Perrera took advantage of the situation, evading the defense of Brian Farber to score.
After San Diego regained the lead on Escoto’s first goal of the day, the Stars came right back with a goal after Jamel Cox’s shot went through the wickets of Pardo. However, a final power play put the Sockers on a man advantage and Leo De Oliviera ensured his team would score on the power play, sneaking a shot past Waltman to take a 4-3 lead.
The fun truly began in the fourth quarter, after Farber scored an easy goal with Waltman pulled away from the goal. After Felipe Gonzales chipped in the sixth Sockers goal, Tacoma pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker with limited success, as Joey Gjertsen scorched a ball past Pardo to bring the Stars to within two.
It would not be enough. Three straight goals from San Diego, including two in the final minute by Farber and Escoto, buried the Stars and secured the victory for the Sockers.
Having both Cesar Cerda and Raymundo Contreras back was a plus for the Sockers back line, as Cerda’s three steals in the fourth quarter helped set up the five-goal quarter. It is a problem seeing San Diego start off behind for the fifth straight game, but if San Diego’s offense can keep shooting the way it did against the Stars and Waltman, it should be no problem.
Their next game is at the friendly confines of Pechanga Arena against the 0-9 Turlock Express, who San Diego beat on January 4th by a score of 8-1. The Sockers currently have a commanding lead in the Pacific division after beating the Stars and handing the Ontario Fury three losses and currently owns the highest win percentage in the league.