Hector Marinaro keeps going on and on, and because of that, the Major Soccer League championship series shows no signs of ending either.
With Marinaro scoring in his 10th straight playoff game, the Cleveland Crunch defeated the San Diego Sockers, 7-5 last night, to square their best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Marinaro scored three goals and Cleveland had four goals in a span of 3:21 in the fourth quarter en route to the victory.
The Crunch trailed 4-2 going into the final period before rallying behind Marinaro's two goals and Mike Sweeney's game-tying goal.
Gregg Willin broke a 4-all tie 29 seconds after Sweeney's goal. Michael King scored 1:41 later to give Cleveland a 6-4 lead.
San Diego went to a six-attacker offense with 4:42 remaining, but Paul Dougherty was charged with a dangerous play penalty after running into Crunch goalkeeper P.J. Johns with 2:28 left to negate the advantage.
Paul Wright scored for San Diego to close it to 6-5 with 1:41 remaining. Marinaro's third goal went into an unguarded net with 13 seconds left.
Game 5 will be tomorrow night in Cleveland. The series then winds up in San Diego.
* SCORING GALORE: The home team has outscored the visitors 129-103 in MSL playoff series this season.
* CROWDS UP: The championship series has generated interest -- at least in the cities involved. With crowds of 14,571 at Richfield Coliseum for Game 3 and another one of 10,831 last night, the per-game series average is hovering at 10,000 overall.
* A GOOD MIX: The number of MSL players competing for thU.S. National team is on the rise. Yesterday, in Palo Alto, Calif., the active MSL representatives numbered four: Bruce Savage (Blast), Fernando Clavijo (St. Louis), Troy Snyder and Terry Woodberry (both Dallas). And there was one former MSL player, Hugo Perez, who spent four years, 1984 through 1988, with San Diego.
Perez, in fact, came out of nowhere yesterday to shake up a short-handed U.S. team.
After his team was outshot 8-1 in the first half, Perez entered the game at the start of the second half. Argentina held on for a 1-0 victory on Dario Franco's goal in the 33rd minute, but Perez took two dangerous shots in his return, including one just over the crossbar.
A crowd of 31,761 attended the game in Stanford Stadium. The United States (2-4-1) next plays Ireland on June 1 at Foxboro, Mass.
* TACOMA COMMITS: The Tacoma Stars will return for the 1991-92 MSL season.
The situation in Dallas is still unsettled.
* A SAN DIEGO STAR: Sockers coach Ron Newman was honored last week, when asked to throw out the first ball at a San Diego Padres game. Warned Newman, a native of Great Britain, before the toss: "There might be a lot of English on this."