Sockers Win To Finish A Perfect 12-0 On The Road
The San Diego Sockers won their eighteenth match in a row on Sunday afternoon, holding off the Harrisburg Heat 4-1 at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. San Diego (21-0-1, 60 standings points) got two goals apiece from Brandon Escoto and Charlie Gonzalez, wrapping up a perfect 12-0 road record. The Sockers head home to face second-place Florida on Thursday, needing three more points to clinch first place in the overall MASL standings.
Boris Pardo (W, 17-0-1), stopped seven of eight shots, posting his second match with one goal allowed this season. The Sockers put on a possession clinic in the second half, holding Harrisburg (3-19, 9 points) without a shot in the fourth quarter. Tavoy Morgan and Cesar Cerda earned assists on the night. Malcolm Harris scored Harrisburg’s lone goal.
The Sockers’ 12-0 road record ties the MASL all-time mark, set by San Diego in the 2018-19 season. San Diego’s eighteen-match winning streak is just thirty short of the U.S. all-time pro team sports record, also held by the Sockers (48 straight wins, 2010-13).
Playing without seven regulars, San Diego used their bench depth throughout the weekend to post back-to-back wins in Baltimore and Harrisburg. On the heels of a hat trick against the Blast on Saturday night, 40-year-old reserve forward Eduardo “El Vaquero” Velez added an assist on Sunday, setting up Charlie Gonzalez’s second goal of the match and 20th of the season. Gonzalez joined Tavoy Morgan (34), Brandon Escoto (23), and Kraig Chiles (22) as 20+ goal scorers on the club this season.
San Diego’s lone power play of the weekend opened the scoring, as Harrisburg’s Ty Hall was shown a blue card for tripping with 9:32 left in the first quarter. Cesar Cerda spotted Escoto open on the back post for a tap-in, the Sockers’ 24th power-play goal of the season, good for a 1-0 lead at 6:47 of the quarter.
Harrisburg responded with their only goal of the match, as Malcolm Harris’ well-shielded shot eluded a partially-screened Pardo, sneaking inside the right post at 8:37 for the equalizer at 1-1.
Gonzalez got on the end of a Tavoy Morgan centering pass just 28 seconds into the second quarter to give the Sockers the lead for good at 2-1. It was Charlie’s fifth game-winning goal of the season, leading the MASL. Charlie ended the half with a goal off a long head-man pass from Velez at 13:56, and the Sockers led 3-1 after 30 minutes.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Sockers focused on holding the ball and resting tired legs. Escoto took advantage of a rare error from Harrisburg keeper William Banahene, who came out of his crease for a wall clearance but slapped the ball right to Brandon’s feet on the right wing. Escoto toe-poked a shot inside the left post before Banahene could return to his position, scoring at 9:32 of the fourth to set the final line.
San Diego returns home to wrap up the MASL regular season with a pair of matches at Pechanga Arena. On Thursday, the Florida Tropics (17-2-2, 53 points) take on the Sockers, with Florida needing a regulation win to keep their hopes of taking over the MASL’s top record alive. The 7:35pm kickoff will feature “Nopening Night” festivities, including $5 GA tickets, free parking and $2 beers, and Sockers championship pint glasses being given to fans wearing Padres gear (while supplies last). Tickets are available by visiting sdsockers.com or calling (866) 799-GOAL. The Sockers will conclude the regular season hosting Ontario on Sunday at 5:05pm.