Sockers Are Still Rocking, 8-3; Records Just Keep on Rolling
The Sockers have more records than a music shop.
In their 8-3 win against Dallas in the season finale Saturday night, San Diego set two more Major Indoor Soccer League records, bringing their total to eight records set this season.
And they could have had more. Socker goalkeeper Jim Gorsek--a surprise starter--fell short of setting a league goals-against average and winning the average title.
The Sockers drew 10,362 fans on Fan Appreciation Night, which left them 338 fans short of breaking last season’s attendance mark of 230,272.
Records set Saturday night:
- Setting the team record for goals scored in a season was expected, but the record-setter was quite a shock.
On a club filled with high scorers, who is the least likely Socker to score a goal? Excluding goalkeepers, defenders Brian Schmetzer and Gary Collier are a tossup.
Schmetzer had a goal and two assists and Collier had three goals and two assists coming into the Sockers’ season finale Saturday night.
At 8:17 of the second quarter, Collier’s right-footer from the top of the circle gave the Sockers a 3-1 lead and their 303rd goal of the season. San Diego finished the regular season with 308 goals.
“I knew we had tied the record,” Collier said, “but I don’t score enough to think I’ll get the next one.
“I was in a perfect position. A forward would have picked his spot. I just wanted to kick it.”
Last season’s Sockers and the New York Arrows in 1981-82 held the season record with 302 goals.
Ade Coker, Branko Segota and Wadd Hirmez added two goals each for the Sockers. Collier and Brain Quinn had one apiece.
- The win at the San Diego Sports Arena was the Sockers’ 21st of the season, breaking the previous mark of 20 set by Baltimore (1982-83) and Chicago last season. San Diego is 21-3 at home and 36-12 overall. Both marks are the best in the league this season.
Other records were not set Saturday night.
Gorsek did not expect to start, but when Zoltan Toth came up with a strained neck, Gorsek had another shot at records which he thought were lost after Friday night’s game in Los Angeles.
Baltimore goalkeeper Keith Van Eron allowed two goals in 60 minutes in the Blast’s 3-2 win against Pittsburgh Saturday. With that performance, Van Eron lowered his goals-against average to a league-leading 3.66. That broke the record of 3.67 set by Slobo Ilijevski of St. Louis in 1983-84.
Gorsek could allow just one goal in 60 minutes to have a 3.63 average, which would give him the record and goals-against average title.
He allowed a goal by Louie Nanchoff in the second quarter and was still in the hunt until Billy Caskey scored on a rebound header with 12:24 remaining in the game. Gorsek finished second in the league with a 3.72 average.
“It’s frustrating,” Gorsek said, “but we fought well. I’m sore and tired.”
That does it for records and near records. Now it’s on to the playoffs.
By virtue of Tacoma’s 4-3 win at home against Los Angeles Saturday night, the first-place Sockers will face the fourth-place St. Louis Steamers in a best-of-five opening-round series beginning Thursday night at the Sports Arena.
Tacoma will face second-place Wichita in the other Western Division series.
In the Eastern Division, Baltimore will face Cleveland, which beat Minnesota 7-3 Saturday night to clinch first place. Minnesota will play Dallas.
The Sockers will hold a playoff pep rally at 1 p.m. today at Mission Valley Center.