The day after Christmas began a three-game road trip for the San Diego Sockers that will see them traveling to and from different cities. However, this time they will be able to have somewhat of a break between games, but they won’t be seeing the friendly confines of Pechanga Arena until January 5th.
A road trip can get to any team and, depending on the circumstances, can affect the play on the field. After flying over two time zones and knowing they will have to travel to another country directly after should have affected San Diego on the pitch.
It didn’t. Instead, the Sockers curb stomped the Dallas Sidekicks 9-3 while also serving as a good way to blow off some steam after seeing a 16-game home winning streak get snapped in a heartbreaking loss to the Tacoma Stars just four days ago.
Kraig Chiles led the team with four goals, while Brandon Escoto and Christian Gutierrez chipped in two goals of their own. San Diego dominated the time of possession while the defense looked much more in sync and focused than in games past.
The offense didn’t start flowing until the second quarter of the game when Escoto took a blocked shot and redirected it back into the back of the net. Chiles netted his first goal of the game on his own rebounded shot, controlling the ball in the box and kicking it past a diving Juan Gamboa.
However, the Sidekicks got back in the game on a power-play goal after VcMor Eligwe snuck a shot past two Sockers defenders and a diving Boris Pardo. San Diego retook their two-goal lead on a perfectly placed ball from Chiles.
San Diego would score twice in the third quarter and Dallas picked up a goal, but what was most impressive (and reassuring) for the Sockers was the fourth quarter. After only scoring one goal and allowing seven in previous games, the Sockers continuously attacked the net and Gamboa to run away with the lead.
Gutierrez got the ball rolling with a one-time shot and a goal followed up by a Juan Gonzales goal after finding himself wide open virtually inside the net. Captain Chiles chipped in a goal even while he was being dogged by Sidekick’s defender Ray Aguayo, and Escoto would drive the dagger into Dallas’ heart with a goal on the sixth attacker after Gamboa was pulled from the game.
By the time former Socker, Jamie Lovegood tapped in his first goal of the night, the game was already over. After letting the clock run down, San Diego left the arena with a huge 9-3 victory.
After allowing five goals in a sloppy performance against the Stars, the Sockers defense looked mighty tough in today’s victory. Ray Contreras made key blocks while Guerrero Pino did his part with two blocked shots. Boris Pardo was steady as a rock as always, but he had the ability to breathe even when the Sidekicks were at their best thanks to his defense.
The road trek doesn’t get easier, as the Sockers travel to Monterrey in Mexico to square off with the Monterrey Flash, who are 2-0 to start the season.
Today’s win elevates San Diego to 3-1 and keeps them in second place in the Pacific Division.