Cougars Weekly Report
The Cougars (6-3) host the expansion New Jersey Ironmen (6-3) Sunday, December 30th at 6:15PM. It is the first ever meeting between the two teams. New Jersey will have played 10 games at the time of their match-up with California. The Ironmen play fellow expansion club, La Raza de Monterrey Thursday night in Mexico. The Cougars are 3-0 against teams who played their previous game in Monterrey.
Chris Handsor: 574 Career Points through 12/30/07
Chris Handsor: 168 Career assists through 12/30/07
Sanaldo: 869 Career Saves through 12/30/07
Antonio Sutton: 145 Career Points through 12/30/07
Enrique Tovar: 109 Career Points through 12/30/07
Enrique Tovar: 49 Career Goals through 12/30/07
Stockton, CA - Dec. 15, 2007 - Semir Mesanovic's three point goal in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner as the California Cougars won their fourth straight game, 7-4 over the visiting Baltimore Blast. California improves to 6-3, the best start in franchise history. The Blast drop to an even 5-5 after losing their fifth straight game, and their second straight to the Cougars.
Both teams played strong defense, but it was the goalkeeping that was simply amazing between the two clubs. Cougar keeper Sanaldo returned to the starting lineup and played as if he never left. The Brazilian keeper saved eight of 10 shots faced. Each save brought the 4,779 fans in attendance to their feet in excitement. Five of Sanaldo's 10 saves came in the second quarter as the Blast opened up their offense with seven shots on goal.
Fellow Brazilian Sagu started in goal for the Blast. Sagu came in to the game with an impressive points against average of 9.80 per game. His performance was almost as impressive as Sanaldo's, but the Cougars were able to beat him three times in the game. Sagu finished with 11 saves against 14 shots faced in the loss.
The Cougars used 20 shots on goal to score three times in the win. Rookie forward Luis Pinto scored once and Mesanovic scored twice in the victory.
Pinto's goal came in the first quarter and was the first of the contest. His score was assisted by Eduardo Velez who weaved his way through the defense to feed Pinto a ball in the center of the box.
Baltimore countered with a goal in the second as Denison Cabral connected off a pass from acting team captain P.J. Wakefield.
The score remained stuck at two through the first half and midway through the third until a restart opportunity opened the door for California to score. Chris Handsor tapped the ball from the free kick mark to a wide open Mesanovic. Semir did not waste the opportunity and was able to fire his shot above the reach of Sagu. The Cougars took the 4-2 lead at the 7:59 mark in the third.
The Cougars' defense used nine blocks in the game to stifle the Baltimore offensive plan. Four of the nine blocks came from defender Matt Caution. Caution is second on the Cougars roster with 19 blocks this season, just two behind Ryan Hall (21).
Baltimore would score again in the game, but it came after Mesanovic's second goal in the contest. This time it was of the three point variety. Mesanovic fired a shot that caromed off the far post and rattled across the goal line behind Sagu. The goal proved to be the game winner as the Cougars won by three, 7-4 the final.
• Discuss this story on the Major Indoor Soccer League 2 message board...
Major Indoor Soccer League 2 Stories from December 26, 2007
- Cougars Weekly Report - California Cougars
- Ironmen investor/operators honored by Portuguese American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey - New Jersey Ironmen
- Ignition Weekly - Detroit Ignition
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.