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Tacoma Stars take first loss, despite awesome mascots

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Tacoma takes its first loss of the season in front of 2,218 fans

Perry the Penalty Peanut roots for the Stars
Perry the Penalty Peanut roots for the Stars

The Tacoma Stars returned home to ShoWare Center on Friday night on the heels of a successful road trip to California, in which they won all 3 of their away games. Tacoma's opponent for its second home game of the season was Soles de Sonora, an expansion team from Hermosillo, Mexico. Soles de Sonora entered the game with a 2-1 record, trailing Tacoma by 1.5 games and sitting in second place in the Pacific Division.

Sonora came into Friday's match up averaging 12 goals per game while also allowing about 8 goals per game. Tacoma came into the game with a solid defensive record, only conceding 2.75 goals per game while scoring 6.25 per game.

Former Seattle Sounders FC winger Steve Zakuani was on the bench as an assistant coach for the first time at a Stars home game. He joined the team for the trip to California last week.

The game started out suiting Tacoma's style, with no score for most of the first quarter. Sonora changed that with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter, with a long-range goal by midfielder Cristhian Segura.

Tacoma answered when forward Tyrone Hall beat the Sonora goalkeeper to a rebound at the near post and slotted in the equalizing goal. The Stars briefly took a late first half lead on Joey "the silent assassin" Gjertsen's deflected shot on a Tacoma power play with 1:13 left in the first half.

Less than 20 seconds later, Sonora scored to make it 2-2 going into halftime.

Tacoma again took the lead in the third quarter on a Jamael Cox goal, just 96 seconds into the second half. But again, Sonora equalized just 10 seconds later.

Sonora took the lead midway through the third quarter, only to have Cox equalize with his second goal just 43 seconds later. Sonora answered with a goal with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

The pace of the game slowed considerably in the fourth quarter, with Sonora content to hold the ball in the back for longer periods of time to help limit the number of chances for Tacoma. The Stars kept applying pressure on Sonora's defense and had several good chances, but just couldn't get the ball to bounce their way.

Finally, with 47 seconds left in the game, Sonora put it away with an empty net goal, as Danny Waltman had pushed forward to support the attack. It was a disappointing result for Tacoma, but don't tell these guys:

Tacoma's record drops to 4-1 while Sonora's record improves to 3-1. Tacoma still holds first place in the division with a 0.5 game lead in the standings.

The Stars get 2 weeks off before returning to action for a pair of home games against old rivals Dallas Sidekicks, who are currently 0-2.