Stars earn playoff spot, face Sockers at ShoWare on Friday

Club blows out Express 14-4 to finish regular season

  • Monday, April 15, 2019 12:14pm
  • Sports

The Tacoma Stars have clinched a berth in the Major Arena Soccer League Ron Newman Cup playoffs.

The Kent-based Stars (12-12) open the playoffs against the Pacific Division champion San Diego Sockers (23-1). Kickoff is 7:35 p.m. Friday at the accesso ShoWare Center.

Tacoma was the only team to beat San Diego during the regular season, a 5-4 decision on Dec. 22 at Pachanga Arena in San Diego. The Sockers eventually won the season series 4-1.

Tickets go on sale Monday.

Game 2 is at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20 in San Diego (MASL TV). If the series is tied, a deciding mini-game will immediately follow Game 2.

The teams met in last season’s playoffs with the Sockers winning the series 2-1. The Stars beat San Diego 5-2 in the first game of that series.

Last Friday night, the Stars stayed alive in the playoff hunt with a convincing 14-4 victory at the Turlock (Calif.) Express. Nick Perera and Vince McCuskey each had a hat trick for the Stars.

The Stars jumped on the Express (3-21) from the beginning, racking up 11 unanswered goals, including four in the first quarter. Perera got things going for the Stars with an assist by Mike Ramos with 11:07 to play in the opening frame. The same pair teamed up again, with Ramos getting the goal just over two minutes later.

McCluskey took a Dan Antoniuk pass and turned it into his first goal of the evening and a 3-0 lead with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter. Joseph Cairel finished the scoring spree, with a Ramos assist.

McCluskey’s second goal of the night – assisted by Stars keeper Danny Waltman – pushed the lead to 5-0.

Just over a minute later, it was Cairel’s turn to score his second of the game on Ramos’s third assist of the half and, with 11:01 to go in the first half, Tacoma went up 6-0.

Pablo Da Silva found Perera for the Stars’ next marker with 9:39 showing on the clock. McCluskey shot a pass to Chase Hanson, who launched it in the net for an 8-0 lead. Perera notched the hat trick on the first of two Lamar Neagle assists to give the Stars a 9-0 lead after two quarters.

McCluskey and Perera goals less than a minute apart padded the lead to 11-0 with 11:01 to play in the third.

Turlock finally found its way onto the scoreboard 26 seconds later when Douglas Lima took advantage of a shootout opportunity following a Cory Keitz blue card. Lima scored again with 8:37 to go and later found Joaquin Raya for a goal.

Neagle, who had three assists in the game, scored his first goal of the season on a Waltman assist with 12:52 left to play. Nineteen seconds later, McCluskey completed his hat trick – off a Troy Peterson assist – for a 13-3 lead.

Express veteran Arturo Pulido launched Turlock’s final goal of the season with 9:57 showing on the clock.

With 1:39 left Antoniuk wrapped up the scoring on a Neagle assist.

Tacoma swept the season series 5-0.


First quarter – TAC, Perera (Ramos) 3:53; TAC, Ramos (Perera) 5:55; TAC, McCluskey (Antoniuk); TAC, Cairel (Ramos); Penalties – none.

Second quarter – TAC, McCluskey (Waltman) 2:56; TAC, Cairel (Ramos) 3:59; TAC, Perera (Da Silva) 5:21 TAC, Hanson (McCluskey) 9:39; TAC, Perera (Neagle) 11:46; Penalties – none.

Third quarter – TAC, Antoniuk (Gjertsen) 2:22; TAC, Perera (Neagle) 3:20; TUR, Lima 3:46 shoot-out; TUR, Lima 6:23; TUR, Raya (Lima) 12:24; Penalties – TAC, Keitz blue card (deny goal scoring chance) 3:46.

Fourth quarter – TAC, Neagle (Waltman) 2:08; TAC, McCluskey (Peterson) 2:27; TUR, Pulido 5:03; TAC, Antoniuk (Neagle) 13:21; Penalties – TAC, Peterson blue card (deny goal scoring chance) 6:09.

Shots – Tacoma 6-6-2-3 (17), Turlock 4-2-6-2 (14)

First quarter – 490

To order tickets and to follow the Stars, visit

More in Sports

Sippin Fire wears down Canadian invader Weekend Wizard in a heated stretch battle to scored a three-quarter-length victory in the $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby for 3-year-olds at Emerald Downs last July. Sippin Fire, the Horse of the Meeting, returns to the Auburn track this season. COURTESY PHOTO
Off and running at Emerald Downs; track opens for 24th season on Saturday

Talented, deep jockey colony and top trainers return

Another no-no for Nate

Weeldreyer silences TJ as Auburn Mountainview rolls to 11-0 win

Federal Way stops Auburn in showdown 5-1

Ravens rout Hornets; Lions outslug Gators

Fight Night Brawl VII comes to Green River College on Saturday

Jefferson-Gee welterweight matchup leads eight-bout card

Stars earn playoff spot, face Sockers at ShoWare on Friday

Club blows out Express 14-4 to finish regular season

Reporter honors Ravens’ Erickson, Lee

Auburn Riverside High School’s Sam Erickson, soccer, is the Auburn Reporter’s Male… Continue reading

Lions’ Walker reaches career coaching win No. 300

Auburn Mountainview’s longtime baseball coach loves the game and watching his players grow

Auburn, play ball!

Baseball, softball teams gather to officially open the new season | RACHEL CIAMPI PHOTOS

Trojans outlast Lions 9-8 on Howat’s walkoff single

Enumclaw rallies past Auburn Riverside

Most Read