WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita's long-legged Mark Kerlin stretched and drilled in the shot that ended a tense, overtime match with the Sockers Wednesday night in a Major Indoor Soccer League game.
Kerlin gained possession after he and defender Terry Rowe double-teamed San Diego's Paul Dougherty along the boards. He then streaked across the Kansas Coliseum carpet and hammered a shot from 35 feet out that bounced in off goalkeeper Jim Gorsek for Wichita's 3-2 victory.
"I think all through the third and fourth quarter, everybody thought the next goal would be the game-winning goal," Wing Coach Charlie Cooke said. "It was heart-stopping at both ends."
Said Socker Coach Ron Newman: "Our last game here was five minutes too long, and this one was one second too short."
He was referring to the fact that Socker defender Fernando Clavijo kicked the ball into an empty net against the Wings' six-attacker scheme. It would have won the game for the Sockers in regulation, but the buzzer went off just before the ball crossed the goal line.
Kerlin then put the game away 1:43 into the overtime period.
In the season opener here, the Sockers were leading the Wings, 3-2, but Wichita scored three times in the last 4:53.
It was the Wings' second consecutive victory over the Sockers. The teams will play again on Friday night in San Diego.
Rowe assisted on Wichita's game-winning goal and also had an assist on Dave Hoggan's game-tying goal in the second period.
Wichita's Mickey Thomas scored the Wings' first goal by knocking in the rebound of a shot by Mike Stankovic.
It also was Thomas whose run decoyed defenders Kevin Crow and Gus Mokalis, freeing Kerlin on his game-winning run.
Gorsek suffered his first defeat of the season. He made 12 saves in 22 shots, as did Wichita's Zigi Zigante, a rookie from Yugoslavia.
"I thought it was a well-played game by both teams," Cooke said.
Newman didn't agree. He pointed out that some of the Sockers' most reliable players were just off the mark with their passes and shots.
Kerlin said the Wings used a new scheme of pressuring the goalkeeper at irregular intervals for the first time.
"I think it got them uneasy," Kerlin said, "because a lot of the outlets from them weren't as good as they usually are."
It was a rare, penalty-free game between the teams that led the league last season with 141 penalties each, an average of 5 1/2 minutes a game.
The teams also went more than 46 minutes without scoring a goal. "We got a couple of easy goals and they got a couple of easy ones," said Newman. "Who would have thought that would be the last goal until the overtime?"
The Wings got even at 2-2 just 10 seconds into the second period when Hoggan deflected a restart pass by Rowe into the goal under the charging Gorsek. It was Hoggan's sixth goal of the season.
The Sockers jumped off to a 2-0 lead in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the first period.
Keder got his sixth goal of the season when Ruotolo slipped a pass through the entire Wings defense to the far post for a tap-in.
Then Hugo Perez laid a perfect long pass off to Dougherty, who had gotten behind defender Dale Ervine and drilled a shot inside the far post.
Thomas got the Wings on the scoreboard by knocking in Stankovic's miss. The play was set up by a perfect pass by Jean Willrich, a former Socker who scored the game-winning goal against San Diego in the season opener.
The Sockers had a lot of scoring opportunities during the rest of the game, but they couldn't take advantage.