Turlock's only professional sports team will continue its quest for the Ron Newman Cup, clinching a playoff spot after a dominating win Saturday.
The 9-1 Turlock Express victory over the Sacramento Surge secured Turlock's place in the Professional Arena Soccer League playoffs for the second consecutive year.
“It was a good physical game, but we just dominated like we were supposed to,” said Express coach Art Pulido.
The Surge, who had only one win on the season, were outclassed by the Express from start to finish.
Express leading scorer Ivan Campos gave Turlock the lead early in the first quarter, kicking off a 8-0 scoring run that would stretch to the fourth quarter. The Surge finally got on the board late, but Turlock's Rafa Campos – making his debut – scored again before time expired, sealing the 9-1 victory.
Though the game was played in Sacramento, fans were screaming support for Turlock throughout the game. Express supporters nearly outnumbered Sacramento fans according to those in attendance.
“There were a lot of people that drove up to follow us,” Pulido said.
Regular season completed, Turlock (9-7) now turns its eyes toward the Ron Newman Cup. The Express's bid for the cup failed in Turlock's first year of PASL competition, when the team fell to Revolucion Tijuana 5-4 in the first round.
The playoff schedule has yet to be finalized but the Express are expecting to play the league-leading San Diego Sockers on the weekend of Feb. 22. The Express will play the Sockers twice to determine which team will move on; if the score is tied after two games, a third overtime game will be played.
One of the most dominant teams in all of sports, the Sockers set a U.S. professional sports record this season winning their 41st consecutive game. The Sockers have won the last two PASL championships.
The Sockers also feature the league's all-time single-season scoring leader, Kraig Chiles. Chiles became the first player to score 50 goals in a season this year, while also setting a league points record with 70.
TurlockCityNews.com will have more information on the Turlock Express playoff schedule as it becomes available.
Turlock Express One Win from Playoffs
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