Sockers Drop Exhibition To Fury In Overtime
Franck Tayou’s golden goal and hat trick score with 3:24 remaining in overtime gave the host Ontario Fury a 9-8 preseason victory over the San Diego Sockers on Sunday afternoon at the newly renamed Toyota Arena in Ontario. Erick Tovar’s shootout goal with 1.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter tied the match at 8-8, and gave the returning Sockers forward a hat trick. Taylor Bond added a hat trick in the losing cause for San Diego.
A back-and-forth and entertaining affair saw five lead changes and six ties, with Ontario rallying from a 7-4 fourth-quarter deficit to score four straight and grab a one-goal lead. Both teams had shootouts in the fourth quarter, with Sockers reserve keeper Diego Arriaga stopping Tayou’s try, while Tovar netted his calmly with the game on the line in the final four seconds of regulation.
Playing without top two scorers Brandon Escoto and Kraig Chiles, each nursing respective lower body injuries, the Sockers put their depth on display over the course of the five quarters of action. MASL Goalkeeper of the year Boris Pardo played the first half, leaving with a 4-3 lead. Veterans Brian Farber and Leonardo de Oliveira were also pulled from the action at halftime, and head coach Phil Salvagio continued to rotate out older players as the match wore on.
Motivated to show well against their southern rival after an 0-6 showing last year, the Fury took advantage of early San Diego defensive lapses to build a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. Ontario newcomers Justin Stinson and Joseph Cairel joined Juan Carlos “Charlie” Gonzalez in netting in the opening frame, while the Sockers saw goals from Travis Pittman and Tovar.
The Sockers scored twice while holding the Fury off the board in the second quarter. Taylor Bond’s first of the night came on an assist from Sockers new acquisition Slavisa Ubiparipovic, who threaded a pass out of the corner through traffic to an open Bond in the middle of the penalty area. Later in the quarter, rookie defender Ismael Rojo stole a ball on the right wall and spotted Christian Gutierrez for a tap-in goal on the far post. San Diego led 4-3 at the intermission break.
After conceding just 33 seconds into the third quarter, the Sockers used a three-goal outburst to establish a 7-4 advantage. Franck Tayou’s finish of a 2-on-1 was quickly countered by Bond, who stole a pass on left wing before a left-footed finish for a 5-4 lead with 1:40 expired. Next, it was Cesar Cerda crossing right-to-left to spot Tovar for a rocket into the upper netting and a 6-4 advantage at 4:53 of the third. Bond’s hat trick goal from Hiram “Pollo” Ruiz, a chest-in on the back post, capped the run at 6:39 of the frame.
While the Fury pulled one back on Stinson’s one-time half volley from the right angle at 2:17, the match turned late on back-to-back blue card penalties against the Sockers. First, Arriaga was called for a handball outside the crease when he fell to the turf with 5:40 remaining. While he was able to challenge Tayou into a miss on the ensuing shootout try, Ubiparipovic was called for a charging blue card just 36 seconds later, giving Ontario a 5-on-3 advantage. Charlie Gonzalez and Stinson scored to convert both penalties into goals, and the match was tied 7-7 at 11:36.
Tayou found a loose ball with 54 seconds left to score a seeming game-winner, but with a sixth attacker on the floor, San Diego caught a break when Fury keeper Claysson de Lima was shown a blue card for a handball outside the crease with just four seconds remaining. In a must-score scenario, Tovar never panicked, faking a right-footed shot before cutting the ball back to his left and around de Lima for an empty net finish.
The Sockers open their MASL regular season with a Sunday, November 24 home contest at 5:05 p.m. against the California Express. Season and single-game tickets are available without fees by calling (866) 799-GOAL, or online at Sockers.com.
San Diego Sockers vs. Ontario Fury I Toyota Arena, Ontario, CA
SAN DIEGO 2 2 3 1 0 = 8
ONTARIO 3 0 1 4 0 = 9