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Cougars Hold On At Home, 9-8

December 7, 2009 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

Turlock, CA - Dec. 6, 2009 - Brian Farber netted three goals, and added two assists in California's nail-biting 9-8 win versus the Denver Dynamite (0-4) at Turlock Indoor Soccer on Sunday evening. The Cougars (2-1) fell behind 1-0 in the opening minute, trailed 4-3 at the half, but rallied for the 9-8 home win.

Dynamite midfielder Jay Hamilton scored the games first goal just :26 seconds after the opening whistle. The Cougars have allowed an opponent to score first in three consecutive Professional Arena Soccer League matches.

Former Cougars forward, and current Denver target, Chris Handsor had two goals and three assists in the match. His first goal broke a 1-1 tie in the first quarter, and started a two goal streak by the Dynamite. Tony Avery scored the third first quarter goal for Denver, it was assisted by James McMonigle.

Cougars defender Ernesto Bueno struck a laser blast from the near boards to snap the Dynamite streak. His goal with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter was assisted by Jorge Martinez. Martinez also scored California's first goal earlier in the first. He had a goal and two assists in his first professional game since February 17, 2007.

Bueno's goal sparked the Cougars offense, and was followed exactly two minutes later on Farber's first of three goals.

The Cougars rallied to equalize the match at 3-3, but saw the tie break when Jacob Harris connected on a power play goal in the second. His goal came with 9:03 remaining in the first half, and was the only second quarter scored by either team.

Head coach Antonio Sutton adjusted his offensive strategy in the second half, and with the new approach the Cougars rallied for two quick goals in the third. The Cougars offense rallied again when Enrique Tovar struck a Farber pass for the tying strike. Farber gave California their first lead on a shorthanded goal with 9:20 remaining in the third. His goal came during a Dynamite power play, and was set up after Farber took the ball away from Handsor.

Handsor answered back to tie the match at 5-5 with his second goal, assisted by Tony Thomas, with 8:35 left in the third.

However, the Cougars regained their momentum when Pedro Lupercio floated a goal above Denver goalkeeper Justin Dzuba at the end of the third quarter. The goal was assited by Martinez. He booted a pass off the near boards, and into the box for Lupercio to toe poke in. It came with 2:45 remaining in the third, and it put the Cougars on top 6-5.

Craig Scheer gave his club a 7-5 lead when he nailed a wide open 20-footer early in the fourth. He one touched a pass from Nelson Santana past Dzuba's reach with 13:23 remaining in the final quarter.

The Dynamite pulled within one again just :10 seconds after Scheer's goal. Ryan Slaughter netted his only goal after a pass from Handsor to make it 7-6.

Farber put California ahead again by two when he scored his third goal of the match. Tovar assisted Farber on the goal after bouncing his pass off the wall above the corner mark. Farber had originally tried a bicycle kick in the left side of the box, but missed wide.

Tovar extended the lead to 9-6 in the fourth. His goal was assisted by Majell Aterado and came with 6:36 left in the game.

Harris brought the Dynamite back into the match with a fourth quarter goal with 4:54 remaining in the game. His goal brought the Dynamite within two at 9-7. The final goal was scored by Josh Fallin during a restart with :01.5 left in the game. It was assisted by Handsor.

The Cougars improved to 3-0 all time versus the Dynamite with the win.

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