The Tacoma Stars scored six second-half goals to pick up a come-from-behind 9-5 Major Arena Soccer League win over the Turlock Express in central California on Friday night.
With the win, the Stars (9-9) moved a full game ahead of the Ontario Fury for the Pacific Division’s second playoff spot.
Mike Ramos scored five goals in the game for the Kent-based Stars.
Each team scored two goals in the opening quarter, beginning with Douglas Lima finding the net just 1:41 into the match for Turlock (2-16).
Nick Perera, the MASL leading scorer, sent in the first of his two goals on the night with 9:57 to go in the first. Less than a minute later, Omar Tapia gave the Express a at 2-1 lead before Perera’s second goal leveled the match after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Express went ahead for the third time on an Arturo Pulido goal with 12:17 left in the half. Ramos converted on a Chase Hanson assist for his first goal of the night to close out the scoring in the first half with 2:59 to play.
Tacoma took its first lead of the match in the third quarter on a Pablo Da Silva-from-Perera goal with 12:24 remaining. Luis Brambila brought Turlock even for the final time just 15 seconds later for a 4-4 score. It was Ramos, on a power play, who put the Stars in front for good with a 5-4 score after three quarters.
Ramos started the fourth quarter with back-to-back goals on assists from Perera and Joey Gjertsen to give the Stars a 7-4 lead with 6:52 to play in the game. Tapia nailed Turlock’s final goal of the game with just over five minutes left and then Ramos knocked in his fifth goal of the match on a Da Silva assist for an 8-5 Stars lead.
Cory Keitz launched an empty-net goal that rolled in just as time expired to seal the 9-5 outcome and give Tacoma a 3-0 advantage in the season series.
The same teams meet at 5:05 p.m. Sunday at the accesso ShoWare Center. Former Sounders FC star Lamar Neagle is expected to make his Stars debut.
For tickets, visit tacomastars.com or call 844-782-7784.
First quarter – TUR Lima (Tapia) 1:41; TAC Perera (unassisted) 5:03; TUR Tapia (Rios) 5:52; TAC Perera (Cairel) 7:24; Penalties – none.
Second quarter – TUR Arturo Pulido (unassisted) 2:43; TAC Ramos (Hanson) 12:01; Penalties – TAC West blue card (unsportsmanlike conduct) 5:34.
Third quarter – TAC Da Silva (Perera) 2:36; TUR Brambila (Estrada) 2:51; TAC Ramos (unassisted) 6:43 PP; Penalties – TUR Adrian Pulido blue card (handling) 5:34; TAC Carmona blue card (tripping) 9:49.
Fourth quarter – TAC Ramos (Perera) 1:22; TAC Ramos (Gjertsen) 8:08; TUR Tapia (unassisted) 9:58; TAC Ramos (Da Silva) 11:25; TAC Keitz (unassisted) 15:00; Penalties – none.
Shots – Turlock 4-6-6-5 (21), Tacoma 5-9-8-8 (30)
Attendance – 410