In what Coach Peter Wall said may have been "our best performance this season as far as dominating the game in all aspects," the Lazers got two goals and two assists from Willie Molano, two goals from Batata and some timely defense to defeat the Wichita Wings, 6-4, in a Major Indoor Soccer League game Saturday night at the Forum.
With a crowd of 5,441 looking on, the Lazers turned a close game into a relatively easy win with three goals in the third quarter. Molano had the first goal, and an assist on the second as Lee Cornwell put it between the legs of Wichita goalie Seamus McDonagh. Batata made it 5-2 going into the fourth quarter with a breakaway goal.
Rookie Amr Aly gave the Lazers a 6-2 lead with 11:11 to play in the game, and Wichita closed out the scoring as Tim Walters got his second and third goals of the night.
Though much improved after a fifth-place finish last season the Wings are in a mild slump. They have lost three of the last four games, including a 9-0 loss Friday night to the San Diego Sockers that knocked them out of first place in the Western Division. No. 1 goalie Jan Olesen gave up six of those goals in 23 minutes to cost him the league lead in goals-against average. Chico Borja, the MISL's leading scorer before Friday, has been held without a goal in five of the past six games.
Wichita had also lost three straight at the Forum dating back to February, 1984, so Coach Roy Turner started McDonagh in goal Saturday. McDonagh had allowed only seven goals in winning his last three starts, but the Lazers (6-12) put him in a hole in the first quarter with 19 shots on goal, compared to only eight for the Wings (10-7), and held a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Molano got things started 4:53 into the game with his 15th goal of the season, taking the rebound of a Gus Mokalis shot off the glass and putting it past McDonagh. Mokalis got an assist.
A little while later, Molano helped make it 2-0. Batata brought the ball down field, passed off to Molano on a give-and-go, and got it right back to score with 6:33 remaining in the first half.
The Lazers were also playing good defense--they did not allow a shot on goal while killing a two-minute penalty in the first quarter--so it took an unusual shot to beat Harris the first time.
With the Lazers on a one-man advantage with 2 1/2 minutes to play in the half, Harris was able to play a little looser and come far out of the nets. But Walters, using what looked like a lob in tennis, chipped it over him from half court to cut the lead to 2-1.
But after Tommy O'Neill scored to make it 3-2 midway through the third quarter, that coming after another Molano goal, the game belonged to the Lazers.