Los Angeles Soccer: Turlock Express
The Bolts (6-7) have to beat Tijuana (8-6) at Anaheim Convention Center to remain alive; the Revolucion would claim the Western Division's third (and final) playoff spot with a victory.
To get to the playoffs, the Bolts need to sweep their final three games -- they close with a doubleheader Feb. 26 against Tacoma -- and Tijuana must lose in its Feb. 24 home date with Tacoma. The Stars are 3-7.
In Anaheim's favor is that Tijuana's top scorer, Cesar Romero, is in camp (and contract talks) with Chivas USA.
The Anaheim Bolts surrendered another lead, the third time they've done so, accounting for all three losses. If they were better at killing off games, they'd be atop the Professional Arena Soccer League standings.
Instead, the Bolts are 3-3 following Friday night's 9-8 loss against the Turlock Express (6-3) in Northern California, which followed pattern: Anaheim surged to a decent lead (6-2 midway through the second quarter), conceded seven straight goals (four of them by Jorge Horta), and clawed back within one before it was over.
It ended a three-game PASL Pro winning streak and makes Sunday evening's encounter at Anaheim Convention Center with the Tacoma Stars (3-4) as critical as can be this early in the season.
Hugo Casillas had a hat trick just 5½ minutes into the second quarter for the Bolts -- his seventh, eighth and ninth goals of the season -- Patrick Ruiz added two goals and an assist, and Adriano de Lima tallied and assisted three goals. Leading scorer Enrique Tovar, the PASL Pro's reigning Player of the Week, was held without a goal or assist for the first time.
ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Bolts' first official victory couldn't have been easier -- nor more of a challenge. And it took far longer than it should have.
The Bolts scored the first six goals, then hung on to hand the Turlock Express their first PASL Pro indoor league defeat with a 12-10 decision Friday night in front an announced crowd of 826 at the Anaheim Convention Center's arena.
Enrique Tovar scored four goals and assisted two more, Adriano de Lima added four assists and 42-year-old veteran Paul Wright's importance to the attacking flow was apparent from start to finish for the Bolts (1-2).
The game's start was delayed by a little more than an hour, until just past 9 p.m., because the glass at the attacking ends -- like the glass at hockey rinks -- arrived late from San Diego, where the field is borrowed from the two-time defending league champion Sockers.
The Bolts might like every game to start late.
“They just came out firing, you know what I mean?” Bolts coach Bernie Lilavois said. “They came out great. We've just got to learn to close games out. its the same scenario again. We got it here, but we almost got lucky.”