The Lazers again suffered from their season-long home disadvantage Sunday when they lost, 4-3, allowing the Wichita Wings to end a 15-game road losing streak on a goal by Dave Hoggan in overtime before 5,489 fans at the Forum.
The Lazers, owners of the worst home record in the Major Indoor Soccer League at 4-9, also did not capitalize on an opportunity to move into a third-place tie with the Tacoma Stars in the Western Division.
The Wings' victory was their first under new coach and former captain Terry Nicholl. It was their first road win since beating the San Diego Sockers April 29, 1987.
"It feels very good," Nicholl said. "The big monkey is finally off of our backs. I have never been so proud of a group of guys. We still had our share of problems but we finally came through."
The Lazers had Wichita down several times during the game but let the Wings tie the game with sloppy defensive play.
The Lazers took the lead 1-0 on former Wing Chico Borja's header at 3:26 of the second period. Borja, the Lazers' leading scorer, bounced a head shot into the left corner of the goal after receiving a nifty give-and-go head pass from Cha Cha Namdar.
It was Borja's 21st goal of the season and his first in five games. Borja also scored the winning goal against his former teammates in the first meeting between the teams in November.
The Lazers maintained their lead until 12:55 of the third period when Wichita's Mickey Thomas drilled a left-footed shot past Lazers' goalkeeper David Brcic for his ninth goal of the year.
This set the stage for a wild fourth period when both teams seemed to score at will. The Lazers opened with their 15th power-play goal of the season. Chris Chueden kicked home the goal, his 11th of the season, on an assist by Thompson Usiyan. The Wings responded with a goal by Jean Willrich at 6:37 of the quarter. Willrich scored on Dave Hoggan's 11th assist of the season.
The Lazers picked up their attack after Willrich's goal and at 10:43 Namdar pushed in a shot off Chueden's assist to give the lead back to the Lazers, 3-2.
With less than five minutes left in the game Wichita pulled their goalkeeper Matt Kennedy to make an all-out assault on the Lazers' goal.
It did not take long for this to work. At 11:35, the Wings' leading scorer, Frank Rasmussen, scored his 25th goal of the season to send the match into overtime. The goal came on a perfectly executed play that was set up by Mike Stankovic's pass to Rasmussen.
It had taken Wichita only 52 seconds to answer the Lazers' goal to tie the match but it took the Wings almost the entire 15-minute overtime period to win.
The Lazers dominated play for most of the overtime but good defensive play by Wichita denied the Lazers victory. The frustrated Lazers were put out of their misery at 11:16 when Hoggan left-footed a shot into the right corner of the net from outside the penalty box.
Hoggan's goal not only put an end to a long road losing streak but added to the question of why the Lazers can't win at home.
"We need to make some changes," Lazer Coach Keith Tozer said. "We need players who are going to come to play every game. We have beat the best teams in the league but we need to be up for all games."