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Cougars Open 2009 With Home Loss To Calgary

January 4, 2009 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

STOCKTON, Calif. - Jan. 3, 2009 - A crowd of 2,038 watched 19 year old Fran Miron strike early and often in Calgary's 11-8 road victory against the first place Cougars at Stockton Arena on Saturday night. Miron netted three goals and was the key to a late six goal fourth quarter rally that pushed Calgary (5-3) to the win and into a tie for first place in the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League. Despite the loss, the Cougars (5-2) remain at the top of the Western Division Professional Arena Soccer League standings and will next host the San Diego Sockers in a United States Arena Soccer Open Cup match on January 11.

Milan Timotijevic, 19, matched Stockton head coach Bernie Lilavois with a game high four points scored. Lilavois scored three goals and recorded one assist in the loss. Timotijevic had two goals and two assists.

Calgary jumped out to the early 2-0 lead when Miron hit a goal late in the first quarter. He was able to hit a strike past Cougars' goalkeeper Jesus Molina at the 3:50 mark of the first. Kyle Yamada then hit his first of two goals in the match with 10:58 left in the second against Molina and the Stockton defense.

Molina matched a season high with 10 goals allowed in the home loss. He also allowed 10 goals to the Texas Outlaws on December 5 at Stockton Arena, the only other loss for the Cougars this season.

Calgary took the early lead and dominated possession in the first quarter and into the early portion of the second before Stockton made their run. Antonio Sutton halved the lead to 2-1 with a second quarter goal with 9:00 left in the quarter. Dave Vedder then nailed a beautiful volley off a head flick pass from Aaron Susi just 25 seconds later to tie the match.

Timotijevic broke the tie and extended the Calgary lead to 4-2 with two second quarter goals. The first at the 7:43 mark and the second with 4:00 minutes remaining in the half.

Stockton entered the halftime break down 4-2. They have trailed at the end of the first half two times this season and have lost both matches.

Calgary goalkeeper Spencer Arnold kept Stockton to just two goals in the first half. Texas was the last team to hold Stockton to fewer than three goals in the first two quarters this season, they are also the only other team to have beat Stockton this year. Arnold became the first opposing goalkeeper to keep the Stockton offense scoreless through the first quarter this season. He saved 18 of 26 shots faced in the match and recorded six saves during the first half of play.

While the young legs of Miron, Yamada and Timotijevic stole the show in the first half for Calgary, it was the seasoned veterans who took things over in the third quarter for the Cougars. Thirty-seven year old Ato Leone cut the lead to 3-2 with a quick goal at the 13:11 mark of the third. It was a goal assisted by Lilavois, but the 38 year old coach wasn't done yet. He went on to tie the game with an unassisted goal just a few seconds later at the 12:35 mark.

Stockton kept the momentum and began to run away with things as they poured on three more goals before the third came to an end. Vedder nailed his second in the game with 11:34 left and Lilavois hit his second with 6:13 remaining. Brian Farber recorded his team best 15th goal to give Stockton a 7-4 lead with 2:19 remaining in the quarter. But, Miron answered the scoring spree with his second goal. It came with just three seconds left in the quarter.

The Cougars dominated the third quarter by outscoring Calgary 5-1. But, that scoring line reflected the opposite way in the fourth.

Calgary completely dominated the fourth by maintaining possession, hitting six of 14 shots taken and outscoring the Cougars 6-1 en route to the 11-8 victory. Stockton managed nine shots in the final quarter, but scored just the one early goal.

That one goal scored was a quick one that took just six seconds to complete. The play started with Lilavois playing the ball to Majell Aterado immediately after the opening whistle. Aterado one touched it back to Lilavois who then struck on the volley for the goal.

Aterado did not score a goal in the match. Stockton is 0-2 when he does not score a goal.

The United ran away with the game after Lilavois' goal. The six goal spree started with Miron's third, Macdonald's first and then Yamada's second goal. The three goals happened at the 12:57, 11:40 and 10:26 marks of the quarter respectively. Yamada's goal tied the match and Matt Deeprose's goal with 7:14 remaining put Calgary on top for good.

Stockton struggled to take quality shots or even receive chances to shoot in the fourth quarter. They failed to convert on a late power play with 4:50 remaining in the game. They had trailed 10-8 at the time of the penalty that was created by Calgary's 6th foul.

Deeprose hit the final goal of the match against sixth attacker Aaron Susi with :11 seconds remaining in the game.

Stockton hosts San Diego at Stockton Arena on January 11 beginning at 6:15PM. The match is a US Open Cup game. The winner will advance to the Final Four of the tournament on a yet to be determined location or date. Tickets are available by calling (209) 373-1550, by visiting the Stockton Arena box office and by visiting www.stocktoncougars.net.

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