February 18, 2013 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - San Diego Sockers
TIJUANA, MX--The San Diego Sockers scored a season-best four short-handed goals to take down Toros de Mexico 15-9 at Unisantos Park in Tijuana. Midfielder Brian Farber led the Sockers (15-1) with four goals, including a pair of short handers, and an assist. Kraig Chiles finished off a PASL-record campaign with a pair of goals, giving him 56 for the season and 72 points, both league records. Team captain Aaron Susi added two goals and three assists, finishing off a career-best 51 point season, as San Diego tuned up for next week's divisional playoff round with a high scoring victory.
"We always say we're going to score goals when we're a man down," said Farber of his team's short-handed success, "There's always a little bit of luck involved with it, but we have the attitude that instead of going a goal down we're going to get a goal on them."
The Sockers needed most of the first quarter to adjust to the playing surface and boards at Unisantos, an outdoor facility in the heart of TIjuana. After conceding the game's first two goals, San Diego roared back to tie the score 2-2 with goals from Susi and Chiles in the final two minutes of the first quarter. Anthony Medina, Eduardo Velez and Diego Rovira capped off a five-goal run for the Sockers before Jose Juan Caballero's power play goal gave the Toros one back before halftime, with San Diego leading 5-3.
A third quarter filled with spectacular goals saw both sides tally four times, including some of San Diego's more artistic strikes of the season. Rovira, who netted a season-best two goals with an assist, scored on a free kick from the far wall at near midfield, dipping a curving shot into the upper right corner. Farber added his first of two short-handed goals, scoring over the back of his head while standing in the middle of the Toros' crease. Ernesto Luna, Guillermo Rodriguez and Gerardo Guerrero scored for Toros in back-and-forth action, as numerous fouls were called on the Sockers in the quarter. On three consecutive penalty kills the Sockers first scored a short-handed goal, then conceded a power play score. Anthony Medina's second goal of the game and eleventh of the season gave San Diego an 8-6 lead, and Farber's second of the day on a Susi assist made it 9-7 at the end of three quarters.
A deflated Mexico defense conceded six goals at the start of the fourth quarter to San Diego, highlighted by Eduardo Velez' second of the game, a short handed goal scored from three quarters the length of the field. Rookie Raymundo Reza (SDSU) added his tenth goal of the season in the quarter, while Farber potted his third and fourth of the game, and Chiles finished his record year with his 56th goal on a Reza assist. Susi's second of the day and 19th of the year finished the scoring for San Diego, while Mexico's Manuel Rosales and Alan Gallardo scored late to round out the scoring.
The Sockers, champions of the Professional Arena Soccer League for the past three seasons, begin their quest for four straight when the PASL playoffs open with the divisional round on Saturday and Sunday. San Diego will take on the second-place Turlock Express (9-7) in a two-leg playoff, beginning at the Valley View Casino Center on Saturday, February 23rd at 7:05pm. The game will be preceded by the Southwest Division playoff between the second-place Toros (7-9) and the divisional champion Las Vegas Legends (13-3) at 3:30pm. The second leg of the divisional round will be played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on the following night, Sunday, February 24th. Again the Legends and Toros will match up at 4pm, with the Sockers and Express playing at 7:35pm. In the case of a split in the two-leg playoff, a 15-minute mini-game will immediately follow Game Two to determine the champion. The Ron Newman Cup semi-finals and championship game will be held at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on March 10th and 11th.
Tickets are available for the Sockers' opening round playoff game against the Express via TicketMaster on sdsockers.com, or through the Sockers' ticket office at (866) 799-GOAL.