WICHITA, Kan. — Few teams have held the Sockers' Branko Segota scoreless lately.
The Wichita Wings did through regulation play Sunday afternoon, but asking them to keep the high-scoring Yugoslav at bay in overtime was a bit much. As a result, Segota scored at 8:16 of the overtime period to give the Sockers an 8-7 win in front of 8,104 fans at the Kansas Coliseum.
San Diego (33-9) has won eight games in a row, including two straight in overtime, and the Sockers' magic number is down to three to win the Major Indoor Soccer League's Western Division.
Wichita (18-22), which has lost five straight, has an 0-11 lifetime record against San Diego.
Goalie Zoltan Toth received his 10th assist of the season on Sunday's game-winning goal.
Toth passed the ball down the left boards to Segota, who battled Wichita's Kim Roentved for possession. Segota finally gained control, then he dribbled around goalie Mike Dowler to score from 20 feet out.
After the score Wichita players argued with officials that Segota had fouled Roentved while battling for the ball.
"He fouled me," Segota countered. "I was the first one to the ball. He tried to hit me off the ball. I was a little stronger than he was. He fell down, and I stayed on both feet."
For the second straight game, San Diego tied the score with a late goal after pulling its goalie in favor of a sixth attacker.
Coach Ron Newman removed Toth with 3:09 to play when Wichita led, 7-6. Steve Zungul then tied the game with 2:17 to play by scoring his third goal of the game.
Two nights previous against Chicago, Zungul and Segota had switched roles. Segota scored the game-tying goal against the Sting and Zungul scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
"We must be getting ready for the playoffs," Newman said. "These last two games have been just like playoffs. Some of these teams that are trying to make the playoffs have been catching us sleeping."
The Sockers played well in the first half, taking a 5-3 halftime lead. However, Wichita tied the game with two goals in the third quarter.
Wichita finally took the lead, 7-6, on a goal by Tommy O'Neill with 7:55 remaining in regulation. Zungul's game-tying goal came on a loose ball in front of the net.
Jean Willrich scored two goals for the Sockers, and Brian Quinn and George Katakalidis each had one.
Segota and Quinn each were given two-minute penalties in the game, running their totals to 20 minutes apiece for the season. According to league rules, each man must sit out one game.
Because Segota's penalty came first, he must sit out Tuesday night's match at Minnesota. Quinn will miss Saturday's home game against Las Vegas.
"That disappoints me," Newman said. "We were trying to work it so that none of our players would miss the Las Vegas game."
Las Vegas is second in the Western Division, six games behind the Sockers. Las Vegas has won seven straight and 19 of 20, with its only loss in the streak coming against the Sockers.