For the Reporter
The Tacoma Stars’ path to the playoffs is simple, win.
They host the Ontario (Calif.) Fury in a crucial match at 7:35 Friday night at the accesso ShoWare Center.
With two games remaining in the Major Arena Soccer League regular season, nothing matters in the final game if the Stars (9-11) stumble against the Fury (10-10).
The Stars lead the season series 2-1 coming into the match and should both teams finish with equal records, the head-to-head record is the first tiebreaker.
In the series, Tacoma has outscored Ontario 23-21 despite being decidedly outshot 94-60. The teams last played in Kent, where the Stars won decisively 11-6 behind two goals apiece from Jamael Cox, Nick Perera and Raphael Cox. Perera leads the Stars in scoring against Ontario with seven points (four goals, three assists).
Ontario has had a five-point scorer in each game against the Stars this season with Francisco Cordeiro, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, and Leonardo de Oliveira each accomplishing the feat. Gonzalez leads the team against Tacoma with eight points (five goals, three assists).
Tacoma’s defense and goalkeeper Danny Waltman factored big in both wins this season, including the 8-6 victory in Ontario, where they were outshot 44-16. They will need to be as successful Friday night against the Fury offense.
Friday’s game is Youth Soccer Night. All youth soccer players will receive a free ticket, and fans in attendance will receive a 2017-28 Stars team photo.
The Stars wrap up the regular season at 7:35 p.m. Friday, March 2 against the Kansas City Comets at the ShoWare Center.
For tickets, call 1-800-STARS-84 or go to tacomastars.com.