by Pete Richmire

SAN DIEGO, CA. – The Comets (10-3-1) went into San Diego Friday night without their leading scorer in Leo Gibson and several other key players and dropped points on the road in an 8-3 loss to the Sockers (14-0-1) at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The game was plagued by 22 combined penalty cards between the teams, including nine yellow cards and three of the red shade. 36 penalty minutes against the Comets gave the Sockers eight power play chances against the short-handed Kansas City squad. Even missing players, the Comets held San Diego to just two goals in eight tries with a man-advantage.

Kansas City opened scoring with Lucas Sousa’s 15th goal of the season. He struck the ball with his left foot from outside the yellow line, but his shot was deflected, then floated in past San Diego keeper Boris Pardo for a 1-0 lead with 9:42 left in the first. That proved to be the only goal of the first frame with Comets’ keeper Lou Misner making a few solid saves, the teams went to the second quarter with KC up 1-0.

The Sockers tied the score at 1-1 when Tavoy Morgan benefitted from a loose ball rolling across the goal line with Lou Misner down in traffic. For Morgan, it was his 20th goal of the season and things were level with 13:51 to go in the first half.

In a quarter which saw five cards issued, the only power-play goal was scored by the Comets when Sousa shot a quick pass through the box to the left side of the goal where Rian Marques was waiting to beat Pardo for this 12th goal of the season with 8:20 left in the second.

Kansas City’s lead wouldn’t last until the break though, as Brandon Escoto used an assist from Charlie Gonzalez to knot the game at 2-2 with under two minutes to go until halftime. The teams headed to the break with the Sockers leading in shots by a 19-10 margin.

San Diego took their first lead of the game on career goal number 100 for Leonardo de Oliveira by way of Chiles’ second assist of the game with 8:03 to go in the third. Just over two minutes later they took the first two-goal lead of the game for either team on Morgan’s second goal of the game. San Diego led 4-2 with 5:52 to go until the fourth quarter.

Exactly one minute later, De Oliveira knocked home his second of the game on another assist by Chiles. Kansas City was down 5-2 at that point with 4:52 left in the third. One more Sockers’ goal by Escoto, who finished the game with four goals made it a 6-2 San Diego lead headed to the final 15 minutes of play.

The fourth quarter was the big card-fest of the game. Nine penalties were assessed in the first three quarters combined. An incredible 13 cards were issued in the final quarter to go with three goals.

The first two goals of the fourth were scored by Escoto with assists to Felipe Gonzalez on the first, and De Oliveira on the second. Those two markers made it an 8-2 San Diego lead with 1:48 to play.

Marques’ second goal of the game snapped the Sockers’ goal run 22 seconds later to reach the 8-3 final with 1:26 remaining.

The Comets will wrap up their trip to Southern California on Sunday with a visit to the Ontario Fury. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:05 pm CT and the game will be televised on MASLtv.


1st – KC Sousa (Marques) 5:18. Penalties – KC James (blue- tripping) 2:55.

2nd – SD Morgan (Chiles) 1:09; KC Marques (Sousa) 8:20 pp; SD Escoto (C. Gonzalez) 13:24. Penalties – KC Palmer (blue- tripping) 3:27; KC Palmer (yellow- dissent) 3:27; SD C. Gonzalez (blue- holding) 4:40; SD Cerda (blue- contact above the shoulder/elbow) 6:29; SD (yellow- dissent) 6:40.

3rd – SD De Oliveira (Chiles) 6:57; SD Morgan (Cerda) 9:08; SD De Oliveira (Chiles) 10:08; SD Escoto (Chiles) 14:54 pp. Penalties – KC McDonald (blue- tripping) 13:10; KC McDonald (yellow- major penal penalty) 14:20.

4th – SD Escoto (F. Gonzalez) 9:04; SD Escoto (De Oliveira) 13:12 pp; KC Marques (Sosa) 13:34. Penalties – SD Chiles (yellow- dissent) 4:49; KC bench (yellow- misconduct) 5:28; SD bench (yellow- misconduct) 5:48; KC Sandivari (blue- tripping) 7:49; KC Palmer (yellow- severe unsportsmanlike manner) 11:35; KC Palmer (red- six fouls in a game) 11:35; SD F. Gonzalez (yellow- dissent) 11:35; KC Marques (blue- four fouls in a half) 12:07; KC McDonald (blue- reckless tackle) 14:25; KC McDonald (yellow- major penal penalty) 14:25; SD Pino (red- dissent) 14:25; KC McDonald (red- six fouls in a game) 14:25; KC Flores (blue-tripping) 14:52.

Power Play – Comets 1/2, San Diego 2/8

Shots – Comets 17, San Diego 33