Turlock’s professional indoor soccer team, the Express, picked up their first loss of the season on Friday after hosting four-time defending champion San Diego Sockers.
The Express were up in the first half 2-1 but a critical red card in the second quarter against one of the team’s top players, Adrian Gutierrez, proved costly and the Express were kept on defense for the majority of the second half and fell in a 3-6 loss.
“I feel that the foul on Adrian was not deserved, the guy he fouled sold it well,” Turlock Express head coach Art Pulido said. “Our strategy changed. He is good with two to three goals a game and creates opportunity and it wasn’t happening to come back.”
With a very physical and tough opening quarter, both teams looked to score the next and it was San Diego’s Raymundo Reza that sank the first goal. The Express rallied as they put up two scores, from Herb Garzon and Martyn Arista while Arturo Pulido had both assists.
Just before the halfway mark and down a man, the Express were only able to contain San Diego until the start of the third. San Diego came back and blasted three unanswered goals to put them up 4-2 and essentially win a hard fought match.
“We held up for a little while but faltered in the third quarter,” Pulido said. “We had mental mistakes in the third, ball didn’t bounce on us in the first few minutes and that’s when they scored on us.”
San Diego proved to be too much to handle, especially down a man as they capitalized on minor mistakes made by the Express.
“We can’t have breakdowns with this time because they are that good at countering,” Pulido said. “Little mistakes cost us the game and they are a very experienced team. We played a solid 55 minutes but that five minute window they scored and held the lead. Got to be ready to play full 60 minutes.”
By the fourth, San Diego netted two more scores while Turlock’s Martyn Arists blasted the team’s third and final goal on a power play.
“I feel we can reorganize again, we will regroup and see San Diego again and hopefully be better prepared because we need to stay focused all 60 minutes,” Pulido added.
The next game for the Express will be against the Bay Area Rosal at 8 p.m. Nov. 30.