The Tacoma Stars survived a congested weekend, playing three games in four days and winning two.
A big 8-6 win was picked up over the Ontario Fury on Thursday, effectively tying them for second in the race for a playoff spot. The Stars had six different goal scorers, with braces from Joey Gjertsen and Nick Perera and goals from Cory Kietz, Joseph Cairel, Philip Lund, and Vince McClusky.
On Friday, the Stars fell to the undefeated San Diego Sockers, 8-3. San Diego took a large 6-0 lead into the halftime break. The Stars scored three second half goals, courtesy of a goal from Alex Megsen and a brace from Nick Cariel, but were unable to recover and close the gap.
On Sunday, the Stars returned home and soundly defeated the Turlock Express, 10-3. They bucked the trend of conceding the first goal, exploding for three goals in the second quarter while maintaining a clean sheet. A strong third quarter let the Stars cruise in the fourth to an easy victory. Stars goals were scored by a hat trick from Nick Perera, braces from Raphael Cox and Philip Lund, and goals from Jamael Cox, Troy Peterson, and Dan Antoniuk.
Odds and Ends:
The Stars now go on the road to Rio Grande Valley (2-10) and Monterrey (12-0) for two matches in two days. These will be the first meeting for the Stars with these two squads this season.
The Tacoma Stars have seen an uptick in the goals per game since trading for Nick Perera. Prior to him joining the squad, the Stars averaged 4.7 goals per game over their first nine games. Since joining on January 5th, the Stars have averaged 8.0 goals per game. While four games is a small sample size, it is a promising boost in the attack and could be the difference between a playoff spot and watching the postseason from home.
Since joining the Stars, Perera has become the overall season points leader on the team with 11 goals and 8 assists, including his three games for Syracuse. In only four games for the Stars, Perera has 13 points, with 7 goals and 6 assists.
The Stars have five players currently in double digits in the total points category. Those five are Perera (19), Lund (13), Joey Gjertsen (12), Jamael Cox (11), and Raphael Cox (10).
Fan Feature: Phillip Duffek
Meet Tacoma Stars super-fan Phillip Duffek. He’s been attending professional indoor soccer matches since the original incarnation of the Tacoma Stars, as well as the Seattle Seadogs in the defunct Continental Indoor Soccer League. He also is a season ticket holder for the Seattle Seahawks, where he dresses up as the Phantom of the Hawkra.
Winning brings the fun:
The Stars have now won three straight home games and four of their last five games overall. With that has come more entertaining goal celebrations from the players, including a “bow and arrow” celebration from Philip Lund, a “hat trick” celebration from Nick Perera, and Raphael Cox jumping on top of the boards and running the line, high-fiving the fans in the front row.
Did you know?
Showare Center of Kent is home to both the Tacoma Stars and Seattle Thunderbirds. There are no professional sports teams officially representing Kent... yet. The indoor soccer floor is built on top of the ice, which is always kept frozen. This is common for other professional sports, such as basketball, arena football, and lacrosse as well.