SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Sockers played their classic game of speed and finesse Saturday night to defeat the Baltimore Blast, 8-4. Wes Wade and Branko Segota each scored two goals and Segota had two assists to lead San Diego. Rusty Troy scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the season for the Blast, whose two-game winning streak ended.
San Diego outran the Baltimore attackers on the transition and was quick enough to shake the defenders around goalie Scott Manning.
San Diego, which won its 14th consecutive win at home, scored at 12 minutes, 20 seconds of the first quarter. Brian Quinn slid what looked like a harmless looking pass from the Blast red line into the penalty area, but defender Kevin Crow had sneaked past two Blast defenders and banged the ball past Manning for his seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for the Sockers.
San Diego took a 2-0 lead at 6:06 of the second quarter on an unassisted goal by Segota that was a gift from Baltimore's Billy Ronson. Ronson, coming off two consecutive games in which he scored hat tricks, tried to clear the ball in the Blast zone, but his pass was to no one and Segota streaked in and lined a 20-footer into the net for his 17th goal of the year.
Mark Mettrick scored an unassisted goal at 10:17, two minutes before Troy tied the match at 2. Stationed nearly in the low corner of the San Diego zone, Mettrick gave a high sweep kick to a loose rebound that hit the goal at an angle that looked impossible and shocked rookie goalie Savva Biller.
On Troy's goal at 12:17, Biller's inexperience -- it was his third start -- apparently led him to crouch in the mouth of the goal rather than smother a loose ball that Troy easily punched in from 10 feet for his 23rd goal of the season. The assist was given to Tim Wittman.
Less than a minute into the second half, San Diego had a 4-3 lead. The Sockers took a 4-2 lead on a goal by Wade, Crow getting the assist, at the 26-second mark, and an unassisted goal by Paul Wright 38 seconds into the period.
The Blast came back to make it 4-3 at 45 seconds when Dominic Mobilio took a breakaway feed from Mike Stankovic and scored his 35th goal of the season. The three goals in 19 seconds was a San Diego club record.