Pardo & Ruiz Shine in Win Over Feisty Turlock
The 14-time champion San Diego Sockers (12-2) had a tougher test than expected from the upstart and defensive-minded Turlock Express. Boris Pardo made nine saves and kept Turlock off the board for 55 minutes. Hiram Ruiz scored two of the Sockers three fourth-period goals to help San Diego win 4-1 at the Turlock Indoor Soccer Center.
Pardo earned his sixth win of the season to tie teammate Chris Toth. He protected the Sockers goal with several spectacular saves. The only goal he gave up was an unassisted goal by Adrian Gonzalez at 10:04 in the final period.
Ruiz finally gave San Diego some breathing room with his first goal at 7:10 of the fourth. Felipe Gonzalez tallied the two minutes later to provide San Diego a comfortable margin.
It looked like the Sockers might have another easy time with Turlock, when Erick Tovar found the back of the net off a pass from Eddie Velez with just under three minutes being played. But the Express played tight defense and did not allow San Diego to find any offensive rhythm. However, when they did, Express keeper Edgar Martinez was strong making 11 saves on 15 San Diego shots.
Sockers leading scorer Kraig Chiles did not make the trip, as he was resting for the upcoming game on Sunday, 3:05 p.m., against Monterrey in Mexico. Several other players also remained home to rest.
With the Ontario Fury loss tonight, San Diego’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three.
San Diego travels to Tacoma on February 9, 7:05 p.m., to play the Stars before returning to Valley View Casino Center on February 11, 5:05 p.m., for Alumni Night.
NEXT THREE MATCHES Jan. 28 @ Monterrey I Feb. 9 @ Tacoma I Feb. 11 v. Sonora
STREAK: Won 2 LAST 5 FORM: WLLWW
THREE STARS: 1. Ruiz, SD, 2 goals 2. Pardo, SD, 9 saves 3. Clare, SD, 1 assist
PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS: 1. San Diego 12-2 2. Ontario 7-8 3. Tacoma 7-8 4. Turlock 2-15