McNeley picks up hat trick in 6-4 Stockton win
STOCKTON, Calif. - Nov. 9, 2008 - Evan McNeley led all scorers with three goals during Stockton's 6-4 win against San Diego on Sunday night. A boisterous crowd of 2,069 attended the indoor friendly and watched the Cougars take on the visiting Sockers at Stockton Arena in a preview what surely will become a storied rivalry between Northern and Southern California Professional Arena Soccer League teams.
Cougars' goalkeeper Jesus Molina dazzled in goal once again by saving 17 of 36 shots faced. The Cougars defense helped him defend their goal by contributing five blocks. Three of the five came from midfielder Majell Aterado and one came from McNeley.
McNeley also scored the game winning power play goal in the fourth when his then go-ahead goal put the Cougars on top 5-4. He was named the offensive player of the match for his efforts. His third and final goal was greeted by a series of hats thrown on to the field by the Cougars faithful watching the friendly behind the team bench.
Phil Salvagio acted as both head coach of the Sockers and goalkeeper during the match. He managed nine saves against 20 shots faced in the first half before being relieved in the second half.
The Cougars pounded the San Diego goal with 20 first half shots on goal and 16 in the second half.
The Sockers committed 14 fouls compared to 11 by the Cougars in the match. They were penalized with four blue card power play penalties, including two in the fourth quarter alone. Stockton took advantage of the rough play by scoring three power play goals.
The match was scoreless until McNeley scored the opening goal at the 8:57 mark in the first. McNeley received the ball after a slick midfield pass from Renato Dos Reis. McNeley's pin-point shot on goal narrowly hit the top portion of the goal and beyond the reach of Salvagio.
San Diego was able to tie the match when Miguel Luna tied it up at the 5:04 mark in the first. His goal was the first of two scores on the night. The Sockers took the lead when Braeden Cultier knocked in a goal assisted by Tony Velazquez. Clutier gave the Sockers the 2-1 advantage with the score, marking the first time this season that the Cougars have trailed in a PASL-Pro match.
Clutier did not play in the second half of the match, but finished second behind Velazquez with seven shots on goal. Velazquez led the Sockers with eight shots on goal.
A power play goal scored by McNeley just: 54 seconds into the second quarter tied the match at 2-2. His goal was assisted by Cougars assistant coach and forward Aaron Susi.
The tie broke when an own goal committed by Nate Hetherington found its way into the Sockers' goal at the 13:06 mark of the second quarter. David Vedder was given credit with the goal scored. The two goals were separated by just one minute of game time.
Stockton took their narrow 3-2 lead to the halftime break, but that lead did not last long. Despite not converting on a power play penalty to open the third quarter, the Sockers tied the match again with an unassisted goal from Tim Roty. The goal came at the 9:43 mark of the third and it evened the match at 3-3.
Dos Reis, a new addition to the Cougars' roster, broke the tie with his first goal scored in a Cougars' uniform at the 8:12 mark of the third. His goal was assisted by Susi, his second assist of the night.
The match evened again when Luna picked up his second goal with 1:44 left in the third. He was able to beat Molina after the second assist of the match from Velazquez.
The Sockers scored twice during both the first and third quarters. The Cougars took the match by capitalizing on San Diego's inability to score in the fourth quarter.
McNeley's third and final goal put the Cougars on top for good in the fourth. Aterado assisted McNeley on the score and then followed with a goal of his own with 4:44 left in the match. Both fourth quarter goals happened during power plays.
• Discuss this story on the Professional Arena Soccer League message board...
Professional Arena Soccer League Stories from November 10, 2008
- McNeley picks up hat trick in 6-4 Stockton win - California Cougars
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.