FURY 2 - 7 SOCKERS

by Bill Norris

After back-to-back battles between the Ontario Fury and San Diego Sockers at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, the anticipation for a third tight battle between the Interstate 15 rivals was high.

Instead, the visiting Sockers scored the game’s opening five goals Sunday afternoon at Toyota Arena, and clamped down on the Fury for a 7-2 victory.

San Diego opened the scoring on a quick counter attack, as Brandon Escoto took a long shot that bounced off the boards to the far post where San Diego captain Kraig Chiles was waiting to volley the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Sockers doubled the lead as Tavoy Morgan was on the receiving end of a pass from Cesar Cerda, and he finished for a 2-0 San Diego lead.

San Diego extended its lead early in the second quarter, as Christian Gutierrez got the first of his two goals on the afternoon, as he took a pass from Leonardo de Oliveira and found the net for a 3-0 lead.

Morgan completed a hat trick with two goals in 2 minutes, 17 seconds. First, he was posted on the back post and deflected a cross-goal pass from Chiles to make it 4-0. Then, he took a feed from Charlie Gonzalez off the boards and beat Chris Toth to make it 5-0.

The Fury finally broke through late in the second quarter. After a Fury shot bounced off the high glass, a San Diego defender tried to head the ball out of the zone. Jorge DeLeon settled it and fired past Boris Pardo to make the score 5-1 at the half.

Ontario drew closer in the third quarter. Ontario was pressuring in the Sockers’ zone, and Franck Tayou tried to pass the ball through the penalty area, where it deflected off a San Diego defender and into the net, making it 5-2.

But San Diego tightened up and scored twice in the fourth. Gutierrez got his second on the power play off a feed from De Oliveria. And Juan Manuel Rojo finished the scoring.

Ontario outshot the Sockers 28-22 in the game, but Pardo was strong in net for San Diego, collecting 14 saves, while Guerrero Pino and Pee Wee Ortega each blocked three Ontario shots apiece.

The Fury head out on the road next weekend for a pair of games on the East Coast. Ontario will take on the Baltimore Blast at 4:30 p.m. Friday, then head north to Utica, N.Y., to take on Utica FC at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Ontario will return to Toyota Arena on Jan. 26 to once again take on the San Diego Sockers. That game will kick off at 7 p.m. and begin a six-game homestand for the Fury, as Ontario will host San Diego twice, Tacoma twice and Utica and Kansas City during that span.

For tickets and information, go to OntarioFury.com or call the Fury office by emailing info@ontariofury.com.