I-15 Rivalry Ends in Shootout Loss
Over the last nine years, the Interstate 15 rivalry between the Ontario Fury and San Diego Sockers has produced many memorable moments and wild finishes.
Wednesday night at Toyota Arena produced another one.
The Sockers rallied back from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime, then outshot the Fury in the shootout to pick up an 8-7 victory.
Ontario jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening 15:19 of the game, then extended it to 5-1 later in the second quarter. But the Sockers scored with 33 seconds remaining in the half, giving Ontario a 5-2 lead after 30 minutes.
San Diego closed the score to 5-4, scoring twice in the opening 6:23 of the third quarter. But Ontario wrestled momentum back thanks to a pair of scoring plays from the duo of Nestor Hernandez and Jorge DeLeon. DeLeon set up Hernandez late in the third for Hernandez’s first goal of the season. Then, at the 6:22 mark of the second, Hernandez found DeLeon to give Ontario a three-goal lead.
Juan Manuel Rojo cut into the lead at the 7:11 mark, converting off an assist from Kraig Chiles. Then, with goalkeeper Boris Pardo out for an extra attacker, the Sockers scored twice more. Brandon Escoto converted on a rebound of a Chiles’ shot. Then, with 1:19 remaining, Tavoy Morgan was able to put home a loose ball in the middle of the box to send the game to overtime.
San Diego had the best chance to win it in overtime after Ontario defender Juan Topete was whistled for holding as the last man back, giving the Sockers a power play shootout attempt with 23 seconds remaining in the game. Brandon Escoto dribbled in on Fury goalkeeper Claysson de Lima – who came in with 9:12 remaining in the game after starter Chris Toth was knocked out of the game after taking a shot off his face – but de Lima cut the angle and knocked the ball away.
In the shootout, Ontario’s Thiago Goncalves and Justin Stinson both missed the net, while Chiles and Escoto both converted, giving San Diego the win.
DeLeon opened the scoring just 1:33 into the game, firing a shot from just inside the offensive zone past San Diego’s Boris Pardo. Jesus Pacheco gave Ontario a 2-0 lead, taking a pass from Robert Palmer and beating Pardo. Ontario widened the lead on the power play, as Juan Topete blasted a one-timer off a pass from Goncalves to make it 3-0 after one.
Ontario took a 4-0 lead 19 seconds into the second, as Goncalves sent a long ball off the glass in the San Diego zone, where Franck Tayou chested the ball across the goal to his brother Uzi, who headed it home.
The Fury will be back in action Sunday, as they begin a two games in three days stretch at home. Sunday, Ontario will host the Tacoma Stars in a game scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. Then, Tuesday, Ontario will host Utica City FC for the first time at Toyota Arena in a game that will kick off at 7 p.m.