For the first time this season, Kraig Chiles has been named the MASL Player of the Week.
Deservedly so, especially after scoring five goals and an assist over the past two games. After a slow start to the season due to an injury, the San Diego captain is healthy and ready to rampage through the MASL once again.
What better way to celebrate than by tallying his second hat trick in as many games?
Chiles scored three goals over the course of the game while Brandon Escoto continued his own hot streak by adding in two goals of his own as the Sockers took down the Orlando SeaWolves in a convincing 8-5 win.
Both teams scored twice in the first quarter, with Escoto and Hiram “Pollo” Ruiz netting goals for the Sockers while Ryan Sandige and Rapha Tobias tallied points for the SeaWolves. Not much offense came in the second quarter, but San Diego regained the lead on Christian Gutierrez’ first and only goal of the night.
However, that one lead goal gave the Sockers a lead at halftime, only the second time they have held a lead at halftime in the past five games, today’s included. So, with lead in hand, the Sockers put their foot directly on the gas pedal in the second half.
It started with Chiles’ first goal of the game off a pass from Eddie Velez. A little less than fifteen seconds later, Leonardo de Olivera, who had missed the past two games in Mexico due to visa issues, clocked in with his first goal. By the time Chiles and Velez combined for another goal, San Diego found themselves with a comfortable four-goal lead. A power-play goal from Chiles in the final minute of the third quarter all but put the nail in the coffin for the SeaWolves.
Orlando did try to save face with a two-goal rally in the fourth quarter, but by then it was far too little and far too late to upend the Sockers’ offense.
At 11-3, the Sockers still have a firm grasp on second place in the Western Conference. San Diego has one more game left on their agonizingly long road trip; a date with the 12-1 Florida Tropics, who will be well-rested after playing their last match on Saturday, Feb. 1.