March 2, 2013 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - San Diego Sockers
DETROIT, MI--Ricardo Lopez netted a power play goal with 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter, lifting the Detroit Waza to a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Sockers in the championship game of the U.S. Open Cup for Arena Soccer. A standing room only crowd of 1,256 roared in approval as Lopez's shot from the left corner trickled through the San Diego defense and into the back of the net for Detroit's second power play conversion of the game. It was the first trophy win for the Waza in their fifth year of existence, while the Sockers lost a trophy game for the first time since returning to action in 2009.
"That's indoor," said head coach Phil Salvagio, "If you make mistakes against quality teams they will beat you. The Waza made the plays they needed to down the stretch and we didn't, all credit to them."
Midfielder Miki Djerisilo was the man of the match with a hat trick and two assists, including the goals to put Detroit (17-2) ahead 3-2 at halftime and 4-3 midway through the third quarter. His hat trick goal on a tremendous individual effort gave the Waza a 6-4 lead with 6:46 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Sockers answered back on goals by Raymundo Reza and Eduardo Velez, equalizing with 3:00 to play. Costea Decu then drew a six fouls penalty on San Diego with 2:29 remaining, setting up the game winner.
Kraig Chiles had two goals and two assists to pace San Diego (17-2), with Brian Farber adding a goal. Riley Swift made several outstanding fourth quarter stops to keep the Sockers in the game but suffered the first postseason loss of his PASL career. Decu, player/coach Dominic Scicluna and Fernando Gatica also scored for Detroit. Waza keeper Joe Kapinos stopped 22 shots to secure a hard earned victory.
The Ron Newman Cup PASL championships continue next Sunday in San Diego as the Sockers host the Las Vegas Legends in the Western final, while the Waza will challenge the Rio Grande Valley Flash in the Eastern final. The two winning teams will meet in the championship final on Monday, March 11th.