Toth's Saves Lead Sockers to 7-4 Win

Special to The Times

There is something about playing in Tacoma that brings out the best in Socker goalkeeper Zoltan Toth.

The last time the Sockers played in Tacoma on Nov. 28, Toth made a career-high 20 saves. He topped that Wednesday night by making 22 saves as the Sockers extended their winning streak to six games by beating Tacoma, 7-4.

"Especially in the last five minutes, they gave me a workout," Toth said. "I had eight saves in the last five minutes."

Tacoma pulled its goalkeeper with 2:54 to play in favor of a sixth attacker. Neither team scored thereafter.

Steve Zungul led San Diego by scoring three goals, giving him 57 for the season. Branko Segota scored two goals, while Cha Cha Namdar and Brian Quinn each scored once. Jean Willrich had three assists, all on goals by Zungul.

In fact, the Zungul-Willrich combination turned things around for the Sockers after they had trailed early in the second quarter, 2-1. Willrich passed to Zungul on three consecutive goals, helping the Sockers gain a 4-2 lead 9:14 into the third quarter.

Namdar scored at 9:40 of the third quarter with an assist from Hugo Perez. Segota gave the Sockers a 6-2 lead at 2:11 of the fourth quarter off Toth's ninth assist of the year.

Mike Enneking of Tacoma cut the margin to three goals by scoring at 3:05, but Quinn retaliated 46 seconds later. Enneking then scored the game's final goal with 10 minutes remaining.

San Diego (31-9) is the hottest team in the Major Indoor Soccer League. It has won 8 of its last 9 games, 13 of 15 and 17 of 20. The Sockers lead Las Vegas by six games in the Western Division and have a magic number of five to clinch the division championship.

Furthermore, the Sockers have a 2 1/2-game lead over Baltimore in the race for the league's best record. The team with the best regular-season record will have a home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If San Diego and Baltimore have identical records, Baltimore will gain the home-field advantage in the playoffs because it has a 3-0 record against the Sockers.

San Diego returns home to play the Chicago Sting at 7:35 on Friday night. The Sockers need a crowd of 6,742 to break their all-time regular-season home attendance record of 193,948 set in 1982-83.

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