The Tacoma Stars erupted for five goals in the fourth quarter to defeat the Ontario (Calif.) Fury 8-5 in a Major Arena Soccer League game at the accesso ShoWare Center on Sunday.
Fans – 2,244 strong – donated in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game to benefit Toys for Tots.
Teddy Bears flew on to the pitch with 7:28 left in the first when Chase Hanson opened the scoring on an assist from Dan Antoniuk for the Kent-based Stars (2-1). The lead almost held until the end of the quarter, but Justin Stinson found Maicon De Abreu for the Fury goal to tie matters 1-1 with 26 seconds left in the first.
The lone goal of the second quarter belonged to Ontario (0-2) as Juan Topete notched his first of the year, also assisted by Stinson with 4:30 remaining in the half.
Tacoma wasted no time in tying the match with a Nick Perera goal with 11:02 left in the third. The Stars took the lead off the foot of Lamar Neagle, only to see the Fury even the score less than a minute later on Evan McNeley’s second goal of the season with 2:26 to go in the third quarter.
It was a goal bonanza in the final frame, beginning just eight seconds into the 4th on the first of two Mike Ramos goals. Vince McCluskey converted on an Alessandro Canale assist to give Tacoma a 5-3 lead with 9:57 on the clock. Two Fury goals just 10 seconds apart, first from Franck Tayou followed by Israel Sesay brought Ontario even again, this time at 5-5 with 9:02 to play.
The lone power play of the match followed a blue card issued to Fury’s Edson Cardona and Tacoma converted quickly. Perera found Jamael Cox for the goal nine seconds into the man advantage to put the Stars back in front. With Tacoma up 6-5, the Stars logged two goals against six Fury attackers in the final two minutes from Ramos and Adam West for the 8-5 win.
The Stars are on the road for the next six games before returning to the ShoWare Center on Friday Jan. 10, when they welcome Western Conference foe Turlock Cal Express. Game time is 7:35 p.m.
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First quarter – TAC, Hanson (Antoniuk) 7:32; ONT, De Abreu (Stinson) 14:34. Penalties – none.
Second quarter – ONT, Topete (Stinson) 10:30. Penalties – none.
Third quarter – TAC, Perera (Caceres) 3:58; TAC Neagle 12:08; ONT, McNeley (Gonzalez) 12:33. Penalties – none.
Fourth quarter – TAC, Ramos (Perera) 0:08; TAC McCluskey (Canale) 5:04; ONT, F. TAYOU (McNeley) 5:48; ONT, Sesay 5:58; TAC, J. Cox (Perera) 9:37 PP; TAC, Ramos (Waltman) 13:49; TAC, West (J. Cox) 14:56. Penalties – ONT, Cardona blue card (holding) 9:16.
Attendance – 2,244