The Tacoma Stars faced off with the Ontario Fury last Saturday. In an early-season battle of unbeaten squads, this had the look of an enthralling contest. And with head coach Darren Sawatzky set to leave for Tucson FC, there was an added layer to proceedings.
Ontario Fury 6 - Tacoma Stars 3
In what was Darren Sawatzky’s final MASL home game as head coach, the visiting Fury would get an early lead, and hold on to see out the three goal victory. It was the first time this season that the Stars had trailed. The Stars were missing some key players on the night and it showed.
ONT - Adrien Perez 7:27, first quarter
ONT - Juan Carlos Gonzalez 10:30, first quarter
ONT - Adrien Perez 12:48, first quarter
TAC - Cory Keitz 3:16, second quarter
TAC - Matt Clare 4:17, second quarter
ONT - Adrien Perez 10:07, second quarter
TAC - Jamael Cox 14:57, second quarter
ONT - Juan Carlos Gonzalez 4:31, third quarter
ONT - Adrien Perez 4:59, fourth quarter
Shots 1 2 3 4 T
Stars 2 7 4 5 18
Fury 3 4 5 2 14
Cards Blue Yellow Red
Stars 1 0 0
Fury 0 0 0
TACOMA STARS HEAD COACH DARREN SAWATZKY
On team’s performance:
“We did not execute like we normally do, defend like we normally do. We outshot them 18-14 and if we put some of those away, it is a different game. I take a lot of responsibility. I put a lot of emotion into this week. It is a bummer, but this group will bounce back.”
On San Diego and Ontario (again):
“We need to get back to what we do well. I put a lot of emotion on this week. It did not help. We need to get back to what we do.”
STARS MIDFIELDER JOEY GJERTSEN
On what went wrong:
“We did not score goals in three quarters. We are not going to win games when we only score in one quarter.”
On next weekend’s matches:
“Indoor is about momentum. This game is done. We go down there, anything can happen. A good quarter or half and we get a win and we are rolling into the next one.”
STARS MIDFIELDER/FORWARD MATT CLARE
On Returning to San Diego:
“Its going to be fun. It will be great to see the guys. It was a great group. I enjoyed my time there.”
On the matchup:
“I think that for us it is an advantage. They have eight new guys. That is out of a roster of 15. So for us, having a large core group, a lot of these guys know each other, know tendencies. So for us the chemistry of the team [will play a role]. It will come down to individual battles to see who wins.”
On seeing Sockers Fans:
“They are very loyal fans, dedicated to the club and the players. The Deep End group will be ready going into Saturday.”
San Diego 4 - Rio Grande Valley 3 (OT)
In their home opener, San Diego took a lead into the forth quarter, only to see it slip away. They were able to secure the victory in overtime.
Rio Grande Valley 6 - Turlock 0
With four goals in the first half, RGV coasted in the second for the shutout.
The Stars face two games in two nights as the they take on San Diego on Saturday, December 22, and Ontario on Sunday. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two long-time rivals. The Stars have failed to win in San Diego since making the move to the MASL. Tacoma will have a chance to get quick revenge on Ontario, with their first trip down to Citizens Bank Arena. Tacoma has won in Ontario, but if keeper Chris Toth is up to his usual tricks, it might be a long night for the men from Tacoma. The Stars return home to the accesso ShoWare Center on Friday, January 11 when the Monterrey Flash visit Kent for the first time in the 2018-19 season. The next night, Ontario is back for what will surely be another intense match.