For the Reporter
The Tacoma Stars went in to El Paso, Texas on a roll, having won two road matches to begin a four-game road trip. The El Paso Coyotes were looking for their first win of the season.
After five lead changes and six ties, the Coyotes (1-3) broke into the win column with a 9-7 Major Arena Soccer League victory over the Kent-based Stars (4-2) on Friday.
For the third straight road game, the Stars’ opponent scored first. This time, Jose Moreno put the Coyotes on the board just 2 minutes, 11 seconds into the game. Less than two minutes later, the Stars pulled even on Nick Perera’s goal, with Pablo da Silva assisting for his first point as a Star.
Mike Palmerin then picked up his first Star point on a goal with 8:36 left in the first, giving Tacoma a 2-1 lead.
Thirty seconds into the second quarter, Jorge Rios scored the first of three goals on the night for El Paso to tie the game 2-2.
The Coyotes went back in front of the Stars with 6:49 left in the opening half on Moreno’s second of the game. The Stars evened the game 3-3 when Michael Ramos scored on an assist from Perera with 2:23 remaining in the quarter. A two-minute tripping penalty to Palmerin put the Coyotes on the power play, and they didn’t waste time. Omar Tapia scored 39 seconds into the man-advantage attack, and El Paso was up 4-3 at the half.
Ramos brought the Stars even on a Raphael Cox assist with 11:13 left in the third. El Paso killed off a Stars power play, but Adam West scored six seconds later to give the Stars a lead at 5-4 with 8:10 left in the quarter. Rios found the net for El Paso with just 24 seconds left in the third to send the game to the final quarter tied 5-5.
El Paso would score first in the final frame off the foot of Diego Talas. Less than a minute later, West scored his second of the game for Tacoma to even it up at 6-6 with 8:28 left. Rios completed his hat trick for El Paso with 6:48 left on the clock. Moreno nailed his third of the game as well for the Coyotes less than a minute later to put the Stars down 8-6.
Philip Lund scored for the Stars at the 3:47 mark, and Perera elected to pull keeper Danny Waltman for a sixth attacker with Tacoma trailing 8-7.
The Stars had a few good looks with the man advantage, and Salas managed to put the ball across the line for the Coyotes with three seconds left in the game for a short-handed to give El Paso the final 9-7 margin.
The Stars continue their road trip in Texas on Sunday when they play the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas at 3:35 p.m. Stars road games are streamed live on masl.tv with live stats available at maslsoccer.com.
The Stars’ next home action is Friday, Jan. 11 against the Monterrey Flash. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.
For tickets, call 1-844-782-7784 or go to tacomastars.com.