Clare Scores Game-Winner To Give Sockers Win
The 14-time champion San Diego Sockers (2-0) used a Matt Clare game-winning goal with 41 seconds remaining to lift the Sockers to a hard-fought 6-5 win over the visiting Syracuse Silver Knights (1-1) before a home opener crowd of 3,318 at the Valley View Casino Center.
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 laser 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. 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 Chiles received a pass from Matt 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 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.