For the Reporter
The Tacoma Stars kicked off their final road trip of the MASL season with a 9-4 loss to Ontario in front of 1,594 at the Fury’s pitch in Southern California.
The loss drops the Stars (8-11) to 1½ games behind Ontario (10-10) for the second playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
The Stars started strong in Citizens Business Bank Arena with first-quarter goals by Taylor Walter Bond and Philip Lund to match a pair of markers from Ontario. Israel Sesay and Francisco Cordeiro scored for the Fury, and the game was tied at 2-2 after the first.
Tacoma would take its last lead of the game on Bond’s second goal of the night, his 17th of the season, with 8:37 left in the first half.
The Fury would then string together seven unanswered goals, beginning with William Raygoza’s first goal of the season and ending with Cordeiro’s third of the game with just 2:28 left in the fourth and a 9-3 Ontario lead.
Thiago Goncalves, Adrien Perez each scored to go with a pair of goals from Juan Carlos Gonzalez to account for Ontario’s other scores. Evan McNeley found the net with 1:49 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.
Thursday’s loss to the Fury increases the importance of the match between the teams next Friday at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. The division’s second playoff spot could very well be decided that night.
Tacoma goes for the season series sweep against the Turlock Express at 7:05 p.m. Friday to wrap up its road schedule before returning home next Friday to face Ontario.
Fans in attendance for the Feb. 23 game will receive a 2017-28 Tacoma Stars team photo.
For tickets call 1-800-STARS-84 or go to tacomastars.com.
Stars games are streamed live on www.masl.tv with live stats available at maslsoccer.com.