Facing a depleted Milwaukee Wave (6-8-1, 19 pts), the San Diego Sockers (15-0-1, 42 pts) cruised to a 13-2 victory on Sunday night at Pechanga Arena.
Tavoy Morgan and Kraig Chiles put on a goal-scoring clinic, with the pair combining for eight goals and two assists in the evening. Leonardo “El Mágico” De Oliveira had himself a fantastic night, assisting on six of the 13 goals put away by the Sockers.
For Milwaukee, the game was always to be an uphill battle as 10 of their players were listed as out on the weekly injury report, including midfielder Luan Oliveira who is an integral part of their squad when healthy. Credit is given where it’s due, though, as the Wave still came out and battled with all they had.
Charlie Gonzalez got the game rolling along just 51 seconds in with a deflection off a Mitchell Cardenas shot. The rest of the first period however was pedestrian with the Sockers looking for prime opportunities on goal with the one-goal advantage and Milwaukee only able to muster up a singular shot for the quarter.
Ian Bennett took the reins to start the second quarter and evened the score with just seven seconds elapsing in the quarter. That goal however would awaken San Diego and see the Sockers score the next eight goals of the contest. Charlie was the first to complete his hat trick on the night followed by Morgan and Chiles both scoring their first each for the night before the end of the half.
Milwaukee would continue to decline as Gordy Gurson would receive the only card of the match with six seconds left in the first half. The Sockers would capitalize through Morgan, adding to their league-leading total of 20 power-play goals on the season (59% success rate). Morgan would go on to score three goals in the quarter and Chiles added his second of the night as well. Leo “El Mágico” would have his assist streak ended at five when Morgan was awarded a goal off the own goal from Javier Steinwascher.
The Wave would pull one back early in the fourth and final quarter through James Webber but the Sockers kept their foot on the gas. Morgan would get his fifth of the night and Chiles would get his hat trick with a helper from Morgan. Brandon Escoto would not be denied a spot on the scoresheet as he would put two into the back of the net as well to put a definitive stamp on this match.
Much has to be said about the overall play of the Sockers this season. The best goal scoring record in the league, second-best defensive record, and having potential Goalkeeper of the Year in Boris Pardo. Not to mention the multitude of MVP options in Morgan, Escoto, Chiles, and Leo. The team is currently firing on all cylinders, clearly shown by the current 12 game win streak, and is showing no signs of stopping. However, their biggest test of the season comes to Pechanga Arena on March 6 as the Chihuahua Savage, winners of seven straight and the second-most goals scored in the league. The match will be crucial for the Sockers as they will need to stay ahead of the Florida Tropics in order to clinch the top spot in the MASL Playoffs.
Tickets for the March 6th match are available at the Pechanga Arena ticket office, online through the Sockers website, or by calling the Sockers at 866-799-4625. If you can’t make it out to Pechanga you can watch all Sockers matches, and all MASL matches this season, on the MASL YouTube page where Craig Elsten and Nate Abaurrea will be on the call.