Tacoma came out pressing in the return match against the Las Vegas Legends, in the hope of building an early lead. Unfortunately for them, the Legends were able to beat the press with 3 early goals in the first 5 minutes of the game. The Stars were able to settle down defensively for most of the remainder of the first half until Las Vegas added 3 more in the final 1:16 of the second quarter. That made Stars head coach Darren Sawatzy's task much more difficult at halftime.
The Legends were able to add 5 more goals in the third quarter to build a nearly insurmountable 11-0 lead with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter. 3 of their 5 goals in the third quarter came on power plays, as Tacoma received 3 blue cards, each resulting in penalties. Las Vegas finished the game a perfect 3 for 3 on power plays.
In the final two minutes of the third quarter, Tacoma's Derek Johnson was able to score his third MASL goal of the season, bringing him to 17 total goals this season in WISL and MASL. The Stars continued to push for more goals in the fourth quarter and found one when Danny Minniti chipped Las Vegas goalkeeper Zeke Sanchez with 8:43 remaining.
The Stars were unable to further close the gap, but they did manage to keep Las Vegas from scoring in the final 17 minutes of the game, which may be something they can use to build a bit of confidence going into Saturday night's match in San Diego. That match kicks off at 7:05 PM and a live stream will be available at this site.
Tacoma will also travel to Bellingham for the final match of the WISL regular season, in what is a likely preview of the league championship game (assuming both teams win in the semifinals). The Satellites (the Tacoma Stars supporters group) is bringing a group to Bellingham to provide away support for the Stars in what is probably their last ever away game in the WISL.
If you were beginning to think that it sounds like the Stars are being spread pretty thin, that is going to continue to be a theme with this team. Evergreen Premier League club South Sound FC Shock, which partnered with the Stars this season and helped fill the team's roster, has agreed to take over the remainder of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) Northwest Division schedule for the now defunct Tacoma Galaxy. PASL is the MASL's development league.
The Shock played to a 4-4 draw against the Snohomish Skyhawks last weekend and host the Olympic Force at 7:30 PM on Saturday at the Tacoma Soccer Center. The South Sound FC's Facebook page describes this as "the third team in the Tacoma Stars organization".
Suffice it to say that the Tacoma Stars and their players are getting as much soccer as they could possibly ask for.