San Diego Rebounds In Sonora For Big Win
The San Diego Sockers had lost two straight matches on the road, and were trailing at halftime in Sonora against Soles de Sonora. What followed was the club’s most determined half of soccer so far in this MASL season.
Kraig Chiles netted a hat trick with an assist, Boris Pardo made thirteen saves and threw in the first goal of his career late as part of a multi-point offensive effort, and the Sockers (10-3) held down the potent attack of Soles de Sonora in the final 30 minutes on route to a 9-6 victory on Tuesday at Centro Usos Multiplos in Hermosillo.
“I was excited to play this game,” said Pardo of the opportunity to face Soles on their diminutive home field, “This field is a shooting gallery, it’s where my (Sockers) career got started, and our guys came ready to play tonight.
”Trailing 4-3 to start the second half, San Diego turned to their captain to power the offense. Chiles calmly knocked home a restart goal on a Cerda rolling pass from midfield at 5:02 of the third quarter to tie the match, and contributed a goal and assist in the fourth quarter to help pull away.
“We needed to get our morale up,” said Chiles of the club’s halftime adjustments, “I think we dominated the second half."
Coming off a hard-fought overtime loss in Monterrey and a morning of travel to Hermosillo, the Sockers nonetheless emerged from the locker room ready to go to start the first quarter. Chiles drew a foul on an aerial pass just outside the Soles crease, then skipped the ensuing free kick home at 4:08 for his tenth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, it was Luis “Peewee” Ortega netting for the second straight match, this time finding the rebound of his own missed shot off the glass and one-timing it into the upper netting for his sixth goal of the season, and a 2-0 advantage at 6:15.
Sonora got on the board when captain Gustavo Rosales dribbled through the San Diego defense up the middle, laying off a perfect ball to Erick Flores, who rolled in his first goal with Soles under Pardo at 12:34. The Sockers would grab the two-goal lead right back, as Hiram “Pollo” Ruiz celebrated his homecoming with a one-touch goal, finishing Boris Pardo’s goalie distribution off the wall at 14:15 to make the score 3-1. It was Pardo’s third assist of the season.
The second quarter saw a reversal of fortune, as Jesus Avendaño scored twice and Rosales once, giving Sonora a 4-3 lead. San Diego killed a pair of power plays in the quarter, but saw a pair of second-chance goals by Avendaño, the last a right-footed rocket into the upper netting at 8:54. The Sockers trailed at the half 4-3.
The second half was an entirely different story, with San Diego showing both their form and determination. Slavisa Ubiparipovic dropped to the turf for a low-angle header goal at 8:48 of the third to give San Diego the lead back at 5-4. After a turnover led to an Enrique Cañez goal that knotted the match at five, the Sockers regained the lead on a clever play between two veterans. Accepting a high pass over his shoulder into open space on the right wing, Pino rose to strike the ball across the frame of the goal. Eduardo “El Vaquero” Velez was perfectly placed on the back post to knock home his fourth goal of the season, putting San Diego ahead for good, 6-5 at 13:51 of the third quarter.
The fourth frame was a tour de force for the visitors, who blocked shots, saw Pardo make tough saves, and extended the lead methodically. Brandon Escoto got a confidence-lifting goal on a perfect pass from Chiles across the net on a restart, Chiles finished a restart after a three-line pass violation on Soles, and the San Diego defense shut down Sonora for over 19 minutes of game action before an Edson Sanchez goal with 45 seconds remaining, using six attackers.
The Soles remained in six attacker formation, giving Pardo his chance for glory. Gathering a loose ball in his crease with eight seconds remaining, Pardo saw the yawning goal mouth across the field and took aim with a strong-armed heave, short-hopping the ball home for the first goal of his career.
“That’s my first, it felt good,” said Pardo, “I was hoping it didn’t miss!"
The Sockers, now 2-2 on their six-match road trip, will spend Wednesday traveling from Sonora to Orlando, Florida, where they will take on the Seawolves on Thursday evening, in advance of a Saturday showdown against the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Tropics. The club returns home on Wednesday, February 12 to battle the Baltimore Blast at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Tickets are available at sdsockers.com/tickets or by phone at (866) 799-GOAL.