As well as Tacoma's season has gone in the local amateur Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), things haven't exactly gotten off to the smoothest start in Major Arena Soccer League (MASL), the top professional indoor soccer league in the United States. Part of that may be due to the quick and largely unexpected transition from amateur to professional status in a matter of weeks. The fact that the Stars played two matches less than 24 hours apart probably didn't help matters much, either, with several key players missing Sunday's game after playing significant time on Saturday night.
In any case, Tacoma fell short on Sunday, losing 13-3 to a very good Las Vegas Legends team that is chasing a spot in the MASL playoffs. The win pushed Las Vegas into sole possession of third place in the Pacific Division, which would be good enough to qualify for the playoffs if the season ended now.
Tacoma's Stephen Mohn opened up the scoring less than 90 seconds into the game, with Nate Ford providing the assist. That turned out to be the only lead of the game for Tacoma, as Las Vegas responded with 9 unanswered goals. The Stars wouldn't reach the back of the net again until Mark Lee scored with a little over 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Chris Raymond added a third goal early in the fourth quarter, assisted by Mark Lee, and it looked like the Stars were showing signs of life.
The Legends dashed any hope of a comeback the Stars may have had by scoring 4 more goals in the final 5 minutes of the game, as Stars goalkeeper Chris Kintz joined the attack on numerous occasions, as Tacoma was chasing the game.
Despite a couple of early losses, fans are showing up to the MASL games in increasing numbers. The attendance on Sunday was 1,015, nearly a 15% increase over the attendance for Tacoma's first MASL game against San Diego.
There is one MASL home game at ShoWare Center remaining on the schedule. That match takes place on February 8th. The rest of Tacoma's MASL schedule is on the road. The Stars play the Legends again on Friday evening in Las Vegas. They will also play at the San Diego Sockers on Saturday evening. The players who don't make the trip down south will travel north to Bellingham to play the final game of the WISL regular season at Bellingham United, also on Saturday evening. It will be another busy weekend for the Stars.