San Diego Ends Season Campaign With Second-Best Record In The MASL At 19-3
With a final score of 10-3 against El Paso, the San Diego Sockers Look Ahead To The Postseason Beginning On Thursday In Tacoma. The quest for their 15th championship has never been so vibrant.
SOCKERS ARE COMMITTED — CULTURE. CLUB. COMMUNITY.
The Pacific Division Champion San Diego Sockers (19-3) closed out the 2017-18 MASL season yesterday with a resounding success at Valley View Casino Center against the El Paso Coyotes.
It was a night to remember for the players and fans in attendance.
With the largest crowd ever, longtime pro Anthony Medina ended his career with a glorious hat-trick, bringing his team to a double-digit final score.
While it may have been Fan Appreciation Night with the annual All-Star Celebrity Game at halftime, it was really the sport of soccer that was celebrated.
The season-high crowd of 5,218 cheered for Medina as he announced his retirement after nine seasons, and once again reminded everyone of his talents as a serious impact player.
Medina was the story of the evening, as he was honored between the first and second periods with a short ceremony and video, scoring San Diego’s first and last goals.
“It was a great win to keep the momentum going into playoffs and stay undefeated at home,” said Medina. “It was a fantastic atmosphere with the fans and a great way to close out the regular season.”
“On a personal level, I announced that this is my last season so it was an emotional game but was very happy to contribute and score three goals on the night,” added Medina.
San Diego finishes the season with the second-best record in the league and now has the possibility of having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they can win the best-of-three Divisional Championship Series against the Tacoma Stars beginning Thursday in the Pacific Northwest.
“Our record of 19-3 and having the second-best record in the MASL is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Sean Bowers, the Sockers General Manager.
“The players, coaches, and staff have dedicated themselves to this season and now the real playing starts with us going to playoffs.”
“We have worked hard to give ourselves the best chance to win a championship,” said Bowers.
The Sockers ran out to a 5-1 halftime lead on goals from five different players. In addition to Medina, Hiram Ruiz, Luan Oliveira, Kraig Chiles and Brandon Escoto put balls past El Paso goalkeeper Eduardo Arevalo.
San Diego tallied five times in the second half to put away the Coyotes. Matt Clare and Jamie Lovegrove added goals along with another each from Chiles and Medina.
“It was an interesting game with one team done for the year and the other looking a few days ahead at our playoff game vs Tacoma,” said Chiles. “It was a good game for us to sharpen up and get ready for the first round of playoffs.”
“4 wins from this point is all we need to win the national championship,” said Chiles.
Chiles was the team’s leading scorer with 38 goals and 18 assists for 56 points. He led the league with seven game-winning goals.
“It was an eventful night with the largest crowd of the season and recognizing one of the clubs most historic players,” said Matt Clare. “We worked together on both sides of the ball and the result shows that.”
“We are back to work this morning to prepare for Thursday and Saturday against a good Tacoma side who is out for revenge against us,” said Clare.
“We finished off a great regular season,” said former Sockers’ player Miguel “Chiky” Luna who is now the Director of Player Personnel. “The team is playing well together, we are focused and ready going into this playoff game VS Tacoma.”
“It was a great night for Medina,” added Luna who retired at the end of the 2016 season. “He is a great player and a better person, and he is my good friend. I am lucky to have shared the field and locker room with him. Medina finished off his career in style, with a hat-trick. I want to thank Anthony for his time, dedication, and love for this team — and thank his family for sharing Anthony with us these last 9 years.”
“Medina genuinely loves this Sockers franchise, he will be around and help us win titles in any way he can,” said Luna,
“Anthony Medina has always been a key part of this team and it’s most recent championships,” said Brian Farber. “He has a serious ability to score goals, which the fans witnessed last night, but it is his ability to help the team stay together that makes him auch a valuable player. Medina connects with everyone in the locker room and makes people laugh constantly. He doesn’t care about points, he cares about the team winning. He will be missed next year — both in the locker room and in the lineup.”
“It was a pleasure to play with Medina during these last eight seasons and I’m happy to have been there for his special night. It s clear this organization has love for it’s players. What they did for Median is another reason why I would never want to play for another team in the league,” added Farber.
Coast Credit Union and Team Kaiser Permanente played to a 1-1 tie in the 12-minute contest. Geoff “Cabana Boy” Allen and Gus Castaneda scored the goals.
Last night there was also a special awards presentation to the hard-working youth soccer team managers in San Diego’s Presidio Soccer League which has 20,000 competitive players. “Team managers volunteer many hours each year to ensure the successful management of their teams’ players and parents,” said Bob Turner, president of Presidio
More Soccer News on PRESIDIO RECOGNIZES YOUTH SOCCER TEAM MANAGERS
“The Sockers match was great, they are an amazing team,” said Bob Turner, president of Presidio. “The ceremony honoring our Presidio Team Managers of the Year was terrific.”
“I want to thank all of the managers who attended last night’s match. We truly do appreciate all the work you do and we look forward to next year and I want to thank the Sockers for their partnership in recognizing these special people.”
What is Next for the San Diego Sockers?
San Diego now turns its attention to the postseason and a matchup against the Tacoma Stars. Game One is Thursday in Tacoma.
Two and a possible Mini-Game will be played at Valley View Casino Center on Saturday, March 10, 7:05 p.m.
Tickets priced at $20 for reserved seats or $10 for general admission open seating are on sale now at AXS.com.
|1st||07:24||ES||San Diego||Anthony Medina (Raymundo Contreras)||1 – 0 Sockers|
|1st||09:23||ES||San Diego||Hiram Ruiz (Kraig Chiles)||2 – 0 Sockers|
|1st||13:29||PP||San Diego||Luan Oliveira (Kraig Chiles)||3 – 0 Sockers|
|2nd||00:41||ES||San Diego||Kraig Chiles (Ze Roberto)||4 – 0 Sockers|
|2nd||04:03||ES||El Paso||Christian Gutierrez||4 – 1 Sockers|
|2nd||09:24||PP||San Diego||Brandon Escoto (Matt Clare)||5 – 1 Sockers|
|3rd||11:29||PP||San Diego||Matt Clare (Brandon Escoto)||6 – 1 Sockers|
|3rd||14:14||ES||San Diego||Anthony Medina (Raymundo Contreras)||7 – 1 Sockers|
|4th||00:26||ES||San Diego||Kraig Chiles||8 – 1 Sockers|
|4th||02:46||ES||San Diego||Jamie Lovegrove (Luan Oliveira)||9 – 1 Sockers|
|4th||05:55||ES||El Paso||Jorge Lozano (Arturo Vega)||9 – 2 Sockers|
|4th||08:26||PP||San Diego||Anthony Medina (John Sosa)||10 – 2 Sockers|
|4th||09:06||ES||El Paso||Jorge Lozano||10 – 3 Sockers|