Toth named MASL goalkeeper of the month

The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) selected 2007 Fallbrook High School graduate Chris Toth as its goalkeeper of the month for January 2017.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Toth, who now plays for the San Diego Sockers. “I felt like I put a lot of work in and it paid off.”

“After the games he’s been playing, and how he’s been playing, he deserves it,” said Sockers coach Phil Salvagio.

The Sockers won both of the January games in which Toth was in the nets.

“Winning is the main thing,” said Toth, who improved his season record to 7-2 with the January victories. “The award is just a bonus on the side.”

Toth saved 16 of the 19 shots the Ontario Fury took Jan. 8 and 29 of the 31 Soles de Sonora shots Jan. 21 to give him a .900 save percentage for January.

“It’s pretty good,” Toth said. “I’m seeing the ball really well and just reacting.”

A team which is behind late in the game often switches to a more offensive-oriented formation, and many of the goals Toth allowed were in the fourth quarter against such a barrage.

Scoring in the Sockers’ 7-3 home victory over Ontario concluded when the Fury added a goal with 2:29 remaining in the game. Toth took a shutout into the fourth quarter at home against Sonora, and both Soles goals in their 5-2 loss to the Sockers were scored in the final six minutes of play.

The Sockers’ first game this month was a 9-3 home triumph Feb. 3 against the Tacoma Stars, who entered the game trailing the Sockers by half a game for the lead in the MASL’s Pacific Division. When Matt Claire’s goal gave the Sockers a 7-1 lead with 9:47 remaining in the game, the Sockers had as many goals as the Stars had shots, but Tacoma would take five additional shots and score twice more.

“It’s part of the game,” said Salvagio, who was a goalie for the Sockers during the 1990s when the team was in the Continental Indoor Soccer League. “They’re going to come forward. They have to.”

“Fourth quarter, that’s when the goals are given up,” said Toth. “That’s when the goalies have to be at their sharpest even when you have a big lead because it’s going to come.”

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