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It's All Adding Up for Sockers : They Improve to 11-5 With Fourth Straight Victory

December 27, 1987|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Statistically, they have best defense in the Major Indoor Soccer League, the top goalkeeper in the league, and they've scored more goals than all but two teams.

Is it any surprise that the Sockers have the best record in the MISL?

San Diego raised its record to 11-5 with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Sidekicks in front of 8,905 fans in the San Diego Sports Arena Saturday night.

That's four consecutive victories and a 6-0 home record for the Sockers, who lead the Western Division by 2 games over Los Angeles and 2 1/2 over Tacoma.

"I think this team is very good at the moment," Socker Coach Ron Newman said. "We're understanding each other. We're getting special defensive effort from offensive players, and that's helping us a lot."

The Sockers have allowed only 44 goals, fewest in the league. Zoltan Toth, who made 13 saves on 21 shots Saturday, is 6-2 and lowered his league-leading goals-against average to 2.21.

"With this defense, I could play anywhere, anytime," Toth said. "We have speedies."

As in fast defensive players.

"When you have guys like Gus (Mokalis), Fernando (Clavijo), (Brian) Schmetzer, and (Kevin) Crow in the back, we don't have to worry much about getting back," said Socker midfielder Branko Segota, the team's top offensive threat.

With their five goals Saturday, the Sockers have scored 69, third behind Tacoma (87 goals) and Kansas City (70).

Segota had a goal and two assists, and Brian Quinn, Paul Dougherty, Waad Hirmez and Ralf Wilhelms scored for the Sockers. Clavijo added two assists.

The Sockers scored quickly Saturday to end any chance of being shut out two straight times by Dallas. The Sidekicks and goalkeeper Joe Papaleo handed the Sockers their first indoor shutout ever, 3-0, in Dallas Dec. 12.

With Papaleo in goal again Saturday, Dougherty scored his ninth goal of the season on a right-footer from the left wing at 2:29 of the first quarter to give San Diego a 1-0 lead. Dallas forward Willie Molano evened it on a right-footer from the right side at 3:14 of the second.

Just 1:20 after Molano's goal, Hirmez scored on a turn-around right-footer from the top of the box. Then, with 31 seconds left in the half, Wilhelms scored his first goal as a Socker, taking a pass from Clavijo and converting on a fastbreak. Quinn made it 4-1 at 5:11 of the third quarter and Segota scored early in the fourth to finish the scoring.

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