Cory Keitz scored a thrilling, game-winning golden goal in the first overtime period and the Tacoma Stars knocked off Soles De Sonora 4-3 in a Major Arena Soccer League battle at the accesso ShoWare Center on Sunday night.
The Stars improved to 3-6, and the Soles dropped to 2-6 on the season.
The dramatic goal ended a fiercely fought game that featured 31 fouls and 30 penalty minutes between the teams.
Franck Tayou continued his torrid start to the season by scoring two goals for Sonora.
The game looked to be a complete about-face from the previous night’s contest with two goals in the early going, with Evan McNeley scoring two minutes in and Daniel Lopez tying it up 3:45 into the first period. But then the game got chippy, nasty and eventually ugly, including an elbow that left the Stars’ Duncan McCormick bloodied and out for the rest of the first half.
Two angry teams took a 1-1 tie into the half.
Tayou scored both of his goals in the second period, temporarily putting Sonora up 2-1 and drawing the Soles level at 3-3 after Trevor Jensen tied it up and Philip Lund scored his eighth goal of the season for the Stars.
The teams cleaned it up in the fourth period and Tacoma survived an onslaught of possession from Sonora, who controlled the ball for the last six minutes of regulation. Both teams had one-on-one opportunities thwarted in the last two minutes of the fourth and regulation came to an end still tied 3-3.
Sonora again controlled the ball for long stretches, including a power play just 17 seconds into the overtime period. The Stars were able to kill the power play and finally got an opportunity on a Raphael Cox’s counter-attack. His shot hit the near board and Keitz was in the perfect position to bury it past Soles keeper Juan Gamboa for the golden goal game-winner with 4:43 left in the first OT period.
Danny Waltman made five saves in the win for the Stars, who played great defense in front of him blocking numerous shots throughout the contest, and the Stars escaped 2017 with their third win. Juan Gamboa made 10 saves for the Soles,.
On Saturday night, Sonora exploded for six goals in the fourth quarter, led by Tayou’s four goal performance, to knock off the Stars 10-4 in front of 3,487 Stars fans at ShoWare. Chase Hanson scored twice to lead the way for the Stars, who were shutout in the first half.
Tacoma now takes a holiday break but will return to the ShoWare Center on the first Friday of 2018, facing the Ontario Fury in a crucial Pacific Division contest on Jan. 5. Tickets are available by visiting tacomastars.com.