TACOMA, Wash. — Steve Zungul returned to the top of the Major Indoor Soccer League scoring race as the San Diego Sockers slapped the Tacoma Stars, 8-2, in the Tacoma Dome Wednesday night.
The Sockers' fifth straight win and seventh in eight games restored San Diego's lead over Wichita to a full game in the MISL West.
Zungul scored a pair of goals, his 18th and 19th, and added three assists to vault past Dallas' Tatu in the scoring derby with 41 points.
Gorsek, meanwhile, shut down the low-scoring Stars until Roy Wegerle--signed by Tacoma on Monday--scored a pair of goals in the game's final 5 1/2 minutes.
Coupled with Zoltan Toth's 9-0 shutout of Wichita last Friday, the Sockers' goaltenders had a string of more than 114 1/2 consecutive scoreless minutes before Wegerle ruined it.
"Everybody was talking shutout," said Gorsek.
"But you don't do that until the final three to four minutes," said Sockers defender Kevin Crow.
The Sockers exploded for six fourth-quarter goals--half against a Tacoma sixth-attacker setup--to blow open a 2-0 game.
"On a bigger field here, we just controlled the ball--give-and-go, give-and go," said Zungul, who has scored 11 goals and 20 points in six career games against the Stars. "We pressed them all over, and I think we made them tired."
But while everyone was singing the praises of the Sockers from one end to the other, San Diego Coach Ron Newman was ripping Tacoma.
Last night's game drew just 3,840 fans--Tacoma's second-smallest crowd of the year--and the Sockers drew just 4,228 and 4,882 in its Tacoma Dome appearances last season.
"They have the best team in the world coming in here, and you wouldn't know it," he said. "You don't read anything about it.
"You turn on the TV and all they're talking about is college basketball or some bloody thing."
Stars Coach Bob McNab was also upset, but about his own club, which has now lost 9 of 11 since a 7-4 start that put Tacoma in first place for the first time. The Stars have scored just two goals in each of their last six losses.
"To beat this team, we had to be our most aggressive," McNab said. "We weren't, so we didn't.
"Even when we were down just 1-nil and 2-nil, I didn't think we were contributing to anything except putting two teams out there."
Zungul assisted on both goals that gave San Diego its 2-0 halftime lead.
Positioned next to the left post, he shoveled a pass to Jean Willrich coming head-on for the first goal, 12:33 into the game.
Just 1:24 into the second period, Branko Segota cut around Zungul, stationed at the top of the penalty area, for an easy tap-in.
The score stood until Brian Quinn (from Zungul) and Juli Veee connected just 51 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the final quarter.
Tacoma pulled goaltender Mike Dowler for a sixth attacker with 7 1/2 minutes to go, but San Diego scored three times--including Willrich's second goal--to more than offset Wegerle's shutout-breaker.
Dowler returned with 3 1/2 minutes left, and Wegerle and Zungul exchanged goals in the game's final 1 1/2 minutes.
"When other teams go to a sixth attacker, our eyes light up," said Crow.