The Tacoma Stars dropped a close result in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) season opener, falling 6-5 in overtime.
The Stars started strong and kept a potent Milwaukee Wave offense off of the score sheet and to zero shots thru the first quarter of play.
Tacoma started off on the front foot and eventually found a goal, from the foot of Joseph Cairel, 13:37 into the first frame. Derek Johnson provided the assist and the Stars held the one goal lead to the end of the quarter.
The second frame saw the trend of Tacoma offense continue, as new Stars player Ramone Palmer scored 15 seconds into the frame. The goal was assisted by another Stars newbie, Alain Matingou.
It took only three minutes to score again as Joey Gjertsen found the back of the net on a pass from Raphael Cox. All three of the Stars goals in the first half were at even strength.
Milwaukee would get one back thanks to clever work from Daniel Mattos. The even strength goal would only dent the Stars lead, for about 30 seconds. A superb passing sequence, seeing Gjertsen fire a pass off the boards near the goal, falling to the feet of Johnson, who smashed home his one-timer.
With 15 seconds left in the half, Milwaukee would strike quickly on the counter attack. The quick break left Danny Waltman stranded and looking for answers. The half would end, with the Stars leading 4-2.
The second half would be all Milwaukee, seeing them bang in two goals within 5 minutes of the restart and get the third goal with around 6 minutes to go in the third quarter. This goals would bring the score to 5-4 favor of Milwaukee going into the fourth and final frame.
The fourth was an end to end affair, with Waltman making several key saves to keep Tacoma in the match. On the other end the Stars offense found gaps in limited supply and tried to exploit what little space they could. Tacoma would eventually pull Waltman for a sixth attacker.
The extra attacker lead to Alex Megson finding a small bit of space in the offensive zone to the goalies right hand post. Megson finished a headed rebound off a Robert Palmer shot. Palmer’s shot rebounded right back to him for a clean header to Megson. With the space shrinking, Megson did the only thing he could, he hopped on his bicycle and fired home the tying goal.
This goal sent Stars fans wild, and the match into Golden Goal overtime. In what continued to be an end to end affair, the Stars defense fell asleep as Milwaukee forward Max Ferdinand, weaved a path thru the defense and slid a shot thru the legs of Waltman.
This loss drops the Stars to 0-1 on the young season and marks their third straight loss going back to last season. Talking with Darren Sawatzky post game, the coach feels the defense needs to tighten up, saying “ We need to be disciplined in our defending, we gave up four or five goals that were preventable”.
Former Sounder Philip Lund played his first MASL match ever as a member of the Stars. He put in a good shift and is looking forward to more play in the league. While not the result he was looking for in his first match he is looking to getting back out there saying “ It was alright, we did not get the win, which we all hoped for. I am a baby to the indoor game everything is new. From here I will progress.”
Tacoma will now face a pair of stern road tests traveling to the Turlock Express on November 10 and the San Diego Sockers on November 12. Sawatzky is looking of his side “ to keep working well and improving on what needs to be improved on”. The Stars will return home to the ShoWare Center on Friday November 17 for a 7:35 kickoff with the Turlock Express and it is one of the $2 beer night promotions.