March 12, 2013 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - Waza Flo
(Detroit, MI)- The San Diego Sockers ended Detroit WAZA FLO's hopes of their first national titleÂ in an intense down to the wire battle at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center last night. Â In front of a hometown crowd of 3300 fans, the Sockers captured their 14th national title winning the Ron Newman Cup trophy 8-6.
With a long run and blast from Nik Djokic, Detroit was on the board just 28 seconds into the game and held San Diego scoreless for the entire first quarter. Â That changed in the second, when the Sockers found the net within two minutes, and again, with less than three minutes remaining in the period putting Detroit down 2-1. Â With just five seconds on the clock, Detroit's Scotty Wright served Costea Decu to even the score going into the halfÂ 2-2.
The third period was rife with penalties (and questionable calls and non-calls) that saw Detroit's captain Miki Djerisilo in the trainer's room requiring stitches to close a gash from a San Diego elbow to the face. Â San Diego took advantage of Detroit's 6th team foul and scored a power play goal half way into the quarter and again, less than a minute later giving them a 4-2 lead. Â Regrouped and back in action for Detroit, Miki Djerisilo collected a blocked shot off Fernando Gatica to close the gap to 4-3.
In the fourth, San Diego pulled ahead with a goal in the first minute putting them up 5-3. Â Then, the WAZA FLO's Aaron Byrd found the net off an assist from Worteh Sampson bringing Detroit within one point, 5-4. Â The Sockers' captain extended their lead again, with a shot just past Detroit's keeper bringing it to 6-4. Less then a minute later, Detroit's Scotty Wright fed Miki Djerisilo to bring them within a point, 6-5. Â Winding down to the last minutes, the WAZA's Costea DecuÂ fired an unassisted shot to tie the match 6-6. Then, in an attempt to clear a ball, Detroit inadvertently sent the ball over the head of their keeper putting the Sockers up 7-6. Â With two minutes left in the game, Detroit pulled their keeper and replaced him with a sixth attacker in a furious attempt to even the score. Â San Diego caught a loose ball sending it to an empty Detroit net insuring the win for the 14 time national champions.
"We battled tonight", said coach Dominic Scicluna, "It's a tough one, I'm extremely proud of my team and staff. Â We had a great season, a great run. Â We took a 14 time national championship team to the wire and unfortunately came up empty handed. Â San Diego is a great team, the team we hoped to be up against, and we look forward to meeting up again next year".
Detroit ends their 2012-2013 season with a Eastern Division Championship and a US Open cup Championship.
The Detroit WAZA FLO are charter members of the Professional Arena Soccer League, which is in its fifth season of play. Â For more information, visit th team's home page at www.detroitwaza.com or the PASL's website at www.paslsoccer.com.