SOCKERS’ MATT CLARE SCORES GAME-WINNER WITH 41 SECONDS LEFT FOR 6-5 WIN
San Diego Sockers Home Opener thrills fans as the crowd of 3,318 cheer for a back and forth match that ended with a celebratory victory against Syracuse. Next match is Sunday against division rival Tacoma.
It was a great evening to be a San Diego Sockers’ fan. With the highly anticipated home opener against Syracuse Silver Knights, sports fans were treated to real nail biting entertainment.
It was a great night for soccer lovers with the 14-time champion San Diego Sockers fielding new and familiar faces.
Matt Clare was one of the stars of the match, even before scoring the game-winning goal with only 41 seconds remaining to give the Sockers a hard-fought, but well deserved 6-5 win over the visiting Syracuse Silver Knights.
Captain Kraig Chiles showed his champion-style moves as he scored two beauties assisted by Clare.
Real, palpable excitement — while there was still room for more fans to fill the Valley View Casino Center, there was a respectable crowd of 3,318 –and many were pounding the floor with their feet and cheering for the Sockers to win the match. The back and forth action was steady and the contest endured from the moment the clock started to the final seconds.
Here is the scoop from the San Diego Sockers’ Release:
San Diego’s heroics came when Clare (1-2, 3 pts) scored a goal from the side of the box off an assist from Eddie Velez for the win.
Only 39 seconds into the contest, Syracuse forward Slavisa Ubiparipovic quieted the enthusiastic crowd with an unassisted curling laser free kick a-la-Messi, that beat San Diego goalkeeper Chris Toth, who was making his first start of the year. The Sockers tied the game at 10:55 in the first period, when Cesar Cerda ran onto an outlet pass from Toth and slid it past the oncoming Andrew Coughlin into the right-side netting,
The Silver Knights executed a set-piece play from Ubiparipovic to former Socker Nick Perera to take a 2-1 lead.
Perera, who began his career in San Diego, joined Syracuse on Friday. The Sockers Brandon Escoto collected a rebound off the wall outside the box and put the ball past Coughlin to tie the match at 2-2 with 10:05 remaining in the second quarter. Chiles received a pass from Clare and put a one-time shot into the goal for a 3-2 lead 59 seconds before the half.
The Sockers allowed Syracuse to tie the game when Escoto tried to dribble out from the back-right corner, but Kernardo Forbes stole the ball and slotted home the score.
Coughlin made several big saves in the first half to keep Syracuse in the game, and one in the third on Escoto just before Chiles tallied his second goal of the night to put San Diego up 4-3 at the 10:05 mark.
In the fourth period, the Silver Knights took advantage of a five-on-three power play after two back to back Sockers penalties with a goal by forward Joey Tavernese.
Syracuse was also in a giving mood, when Escoto pressured defender Jake Schindler into a back-pass that rolled by the unprepared Coughlin. The goal gave San Diego a 5-4 lead, which they could not hold on to.
Another error by San Diego led to a late tying goal by Tavernese, as Syracuse was using the sixth attacker. He stole the ball from a defender and then scored off his own rebound shot past a sprawling Toth.
In the final 20 seconds, the Silver Knights tried to tie the match again, but two-point blank shots were denied by Toth to preserve the victory.
San Diego returns to the Valley View Casino Center on Sunday, November 12. 5:05 p.m. against the Tacoma Stars. It will be PJ/Onesie Night and the first 2,500 fans will receive a free cell phone credit card holder. Free parking is always courtesy of the team.
NEXT THREE SAN DIEGO SOCKERS MATCHES:
Nov, 12 vs. Tacoma I Nov. 19 vs. Ontario I Dec. 1 at Tacoma
Photo Credit: Diane Scavuzzo