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Stars come through in ‘must win’ game

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Tacoma now control their own destiny in the season finale

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

The Tacoma Stars began the night one game behind the Ontario Fury and the stakes were simple, but high. A loss would see the Stars out of the playoff picture entirely and win would put them into second place and allow them to control their own destiny.

The first quarter was low scoring, with perhaps both teams afraid of making a mistake. The lone goal came from Tacoma Star Joey Gjertsen. Once the first goal was scored, both teams began to open up. Three more goals saw the Stars lead 4-1 going into the halftime break. The Stars would grow that lead in the third and force Ontario into attack mode. The fourth quarter saw Ontario pull their goalkeeper for a sixth attacker, which seemed to pay off as they cut into the Stars lead, but two Tacoma insurance goals allowed the Stars hold on to victory.

With the 8-6 final score, the Stars tied the Fury at 10-11 in the standings but own the head to head tie breaker, thanks to the Stars taking three of the four meetings. The Stars goals came from Jamael Cox (3), Nick Perera (2), Raphael Cox, Cory Kietz, Joey Gjertsen.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Notes:

  • Playoff hunt: With the win, the Stars sit in second place in the Pacific Division and hold a playoff spot. A win over the Kansas City Comets or a Fury loss to the San Diego Sockers will put the Stars into the Playoffs.
  • Juiced offense: Tacoma’s victory was thanks to Jamael “Juice” Cox. His three goals bring his season total to 13 goals.
  • The Power of Perera: Perera added two more goals to his Stars tally. He has 19 on the season and has been a driving force behind the Stars late season rally.
  • Iron Waltman: Stars Goalie Danny Waltman has played 1245 of 1260 minutes this season, with his only missing minutes being when the Stars were chasing a goal late and utilized their 6th attacker.
  • Winning the battle: If the Stars can win the last match, they will be .500 on the season. Tacoma had to battle back after dropping four straight matches in December.
  • What’s coming up: On Friday, March 2, the Stars will play the regular season finale against the Kansas City Comets with kickoff at 7:35 p.m. A win in their final regular season game at ShoWare Center will put the Stars into the playoffs.