The Tacoma Stars let a dominating first half slip away and saw the San Diego Sockers, who trailed by three in the second half, come from behind and top Tacoma 8-6 in a Major Arena Soccer League match Sunday.
In addition to being outscored in the game, Tacoma was decisively outshot by a 43-12 margin.
The Kent-based Stars dropped to 2-3, while the Sockers improved to 5-1.
Vince McCluskey gave the Stars a 1-0 lead on an assist from Chase Hanson with 11:16 left to play in the opening quarter.
Cesar Cerda leveled the match 1-1 on Christian Gutierrez’s assist with 6:25 on the clock.
The Stars knocked in the only two goals of the second quarter beginning with Mike Ramos’ eighth of the season on a Cory Keitz assist with 13:24 to go in the first half. After Luis Ortega picked up the first blue card of the game for tripping, Perera slid a shootout past Sockers keep Boris Pardo to put Tacoma up 3-1 for the final first-half goal.
The Stars quickly made it a 4-1 lead with 12:54 left in the third on a Jamael Cox unassisted marker. That awoke the San Diego offense, and the Sockers scored the next five goals, including two from Slavisa Ubiparipovic. Christian Gutierrez and Cerda also found the back of the net. Travis Pittman scored his third goal of the year to put San Diego up 6-4 before Perera answered to make it a 6-5 Tacoma after three quarters.
Tacoma brought the game level at 6-6 when Cory Keitz picked up his first goal of the season on a Danny Waltman assist with 4:53 left in regulation. The final two goals of the match would go to San Diego, including Ubiparipovic’s third of the night with 2:05 to play. After Waltman’s assist, Pardo collected one of his own as he found Brian Farber with his outlet pass against six Tacoma attackers to reach the 8-6 final with 25 seconds to go.
With the win, San Diego stretches their streak to five straight victories and take a 2-0 lead over Tacoma in the season series. The teams meet again on Sunday, March 8 at Pachanga Arena San Diego to kick off three consecutive games between teams.
First quarter – TAC McCluskey (Hanson) 3:44; SD Cerda (Gutierrez) 8:35. Penalties – none.
Second quarter – TAC Ramos (Keitz) 1:36; TAC Perera 6:19 shootout. Penalties – SD Ortega blue card (tripping) 6:19; TAC blue card (too many men) 7:12; TAC McCluskey blue card (reckless tackle) 9:01.
Third quarter – TAC J. Cox 2:06; SD Ubiparipovic (Escoto) 2:52; SD Gutierrez (De Oliveira) 4:18; SD Cerda (Escoto) 5:34; SD Ubiparipovic 7:15; SD Pittman (Ortega) 9:10; TAC Perera 10:52. Penalties – none.
Fourth quarter – TAC Keitz (Waltman) 10:07; SD Ubiparipovic (Ortega) 12:55; SD Farber (Pardo) 14:35. Penalties – none.
Attendance – 2,250
The Stars continue their six-game road trip with two matches next week. The Stars visit the St. Louis Ambush on Friday and the Kansas City Comets on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. and 5:05 p.m., respectively. Both matches can be seen on MASL.tv.
The Stars return to the accesso ShoWare Center on Friday, Jan, 10, against the Turlock Cal Express.
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