The Tacoma Stars returned home to the accesso ShoWare Center following a six-game road stretch and handled the Turlock Cal Express with a 7-4 win in front of 2,663 fans on Friday night.
The win gives Tacoma a 2-0 lead in the season series with Turlock. The Kent-based Stars are 4-6 on the season. The Express are 3-5.
Turlock picked up the lone goal of the first quarter when they converted on a power play opportunity, which had just one second remaining on the man advantage. Gerardo Jurado scored his first of two goals in the match to give the Cal Express a 1-0 lead after the first 15 minutes of play.
If the first quarter belonged to Turlock, the second was for the Stars. Three consecutive Tacoma goals had the Stars up 3-1 with 4:54 left in the first half. Raphael Cox, Lamar Neagle, and Alex Caceres found the back of the net for Tacoma in the first half and the Stars led 3-1 at the break.
Mike Ramos gave the Stars a 4-1 lead on a Nick Perera assist with 13:42 on the clock in the third. Less than a minute later, Ramos was off to the penalty box, setting up Turlock’s second power play goal of the night, this one from Adrian Gutierrez. Luis Brambila followed that with another Cal Express marker, and the Stars saw their lead cut to 4-3 with 9:35 remaining in the third frame. With Tacoma on the power play, Careres connected with Raphael Cox for his second goal of the game and put the Stars up 5-3 headed to the final quarter.
Cory Keitz took a Ramos feed and sent it past the Turlock keeper for a 6-3 Stars lead with 12:14 to go in the game. The Stars final goal of the match was another power play marker from Caceres assisted by Perera. The final score of the match was Jurado’s second of the game for Turlock.
The Stars continue their homestand on Saturday Jan. 18 when the Ontario Fury come to Kent. Kickoff is 7:05 p.m. Prior to the Stars match, the Stars Reserves take on Narrows FC in a WISL game.
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First quarter – TUR Jurado (Manuel Rojo) 11:26 PP. Penalties – TAC Canale blue card (kicking) 9:27.
Second quarter – TAC R. Cox (Canale) 2:12; Neagle (Peterson) 4:15; Caceres 10:06. Penalties – TUR Arturo Pulido blue card (unsportsmanlike conduct) 11:28.
Third quarter – TAC Ramos (Perera) 1:20; TUR Gutierrez (Brambila) 2:17 PP; TAC R. Cox (Caceres) 11:04 PP. Penalties – TAC Ramos blue card (two-footed tackle) 1:54; TUR Max blue card (boarding) 10:26.
Fourth quarter – TAC Keitz (Ramos) 2:46; TAC Caceres (Perera) 5:00 PP; TUR Jurado (Germain) 7:27 SH. Penalties – TUR Valadez blue card (holding) 3:15; TUR Gutierrez blue card (holding) 5:33.
Attendance – 2,663