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Express crush Seattle
Sunday matchup against Las Vegas key to playoff berth
Edson Sanchez of Turlock (center) tries to make his way between two defenders during the first half of Fridays win over Seattle. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Coming off a close loss to Las Vegas in their prior game, the Turlock Express looked to rally in Friday’s home contest when they hosted the Seattle Impact in what resulted in the Express’ most dominating performance this season thus far.

The Express —Turlock's Major Arena Soccer League team — controlled the game from top to bottom and after taking a 7-2 lead heading into the half against an Impact team which topped Turlock earlier in the year 3-8, but this time things were different.

An offensive outburst caused extensive problems for Seattle as Turlock nudged a season-high in goals scored to pick up their second win in their last three games, 16-5, and keep their playoff hopes alive.

“It is one of the things I've been talking to the team about,” said Turlock captain Enrique Tovar. “We are in the hunt for the playoffs, so every game we win from here on out puts us in the playoffs pretty much so we need to come out and win the rest of our games.”

“We needed to show good defense and offense tonight, and in both we came up,” said Turlock head coach Art Pulido. “We are now in a good position to get into the playoffs if we are able to pull off the win against Las Vegas, if we play with the same intensity I think we can move up for sure.”

Six different players scored at least two goals for Turlock and 10 guys scored at least one goal for the home team who are now 7-6 heading into Sunday’s showdown against third place Las Vegas (7-5).

“All 16 goals were just types of movements and plays that we have been working on,” Tovar said. “From the beginning of the season I have planted in our guys' heads that we need to play like we did tonight in every game.”

Nobody was going to stop the Express tonight who out-played Seattle physically, mentally and in every phase of the game.

All but three players from the Express nudged at least a goal.

Goalkeeper Javier Rosales ended the night with 16 saves and the Turlock defense held Seattle to only two goals in the first two quarters.

“We had our entire team that trained out there playing for one of the few times and what we worked on showed in the game,” said Tovar. “Of the entire 60 minutes of the game, I think we played 53 minutes of solid ball and the seven minutes that we didn’t was halftime.”

In the second half the Express went on a 9-3 run, seven of which came in the final quarter. Ryan Daly knocked in two of the team’s final three goals and the Express are one victory away from moving up to third, maybe second place, in the Pacific Division.

“We had a lot of guys injured as well and we had two return tonight and that really helped us and it showed the difference with all the guys back from injury,” Pulido added.

The Express’ next game will be at home against the Las Vegas Legends at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.