Sockers 2 Are West Conference Champs In 11-10 Win
The San Diego Sockers 2 won the inaugural MASL 2 Western Conference Final on Tim Liermann's overtime goal at 27 seconds to defeat the #1 seed Colorado Inferno 11-10 at a sold-out Colorado Springs SoccerHaus. San Diego advances to play the Eastern Conference winner Chicago Mustangs in the M2 Cup Championship Final on Sunday, 12:00 p.m. PT. Andy Lorei tallied six goals to pace San Diego.
The see-saw contest featured scoring streaks in threes by both teams. San Diego jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead but allowed Colorado to tie the game with three consecutive goals. The Sockers 2 went on another run of three to take the 6-3 advantage. Lorei scored four the team's first six goals and added one just before halftime to stake San Diego to a 7-6 lead after the Inferno's second three-goal burst.
The second half was much different as the team's settled down and played tighter defense. Colorado would get their first and only lead of the game at 8-7 with 4:23 left in the third quarter. Francisco Rivas' go-ahead goal was his third of the match. San Diego used two power-play goals in 25 seconds to regain the lead to end the third. Lorei nailed his sixth goal of the game, followed by a strike from Renato Sanchez.
The Inferno bookended a Sockers 2 goal by Sam Palano in the fourth quarter. Colorado's Jacob Martinez forced overtime with a goal with under five minutes remaining to set up Liermann's heroics.
San Diego also got goals from Mike Mercuriali and Evan Myers.
Ramon Torres made 10 saves on the 20 shots he faced to earn the win.
To win the first-ever M2 Cup title, San Diego will have to beat another #1 seed in the Chicago Mustangs, who topped Cincinnati 9-2 in the Eastern Conference Final. The 10-2 Mustangs were the overall top seed in the playoffs and were the most dominant side in the league. The game will kickoff at 12:00 p.m. PT and can be seen streaming live on MASL.TV.
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