Second Half Offense Pushes Tacoma Past Ontario, 8-5

by Brett Gleason

Derek Johnson, Micheal Ramos both score twice 

TACOMA, Wash. -- Behind an explosive second-half offensive effort, the Tacoma Stars (2-1) cruised past the Ontario Fury (1-2) for an 8-5 victory on Saturday night at the ShoWare Center. 

Tacoma entered halftime trailing 3-2 and came out firing in the second half, scoring three goals in the third quarter and a trio more in the final period to power past Ontario. 

Forward Derek Johnson and midfielder Micheal Ramos both scored twice, while Ramos also chipped in an assist. Stars goalkeeper Danny Waltman checked in with eight saves on 13 shots, earning his second win of the year. 

The Fury scored the only goal of the opening quarter when Corey Maret sent a ball past Waltman, giving the visiting club a 1-0 advantage. Ontario would go on to score twice in the second quarter, while Ramos and Johnson countered with goals for Tacoma to limit the Fury lead to 3-2 going into the break. 

Eight minutes into the second half, Johnson found the back of the net again to pull the Stars even with the Fury at 3-3. However, Ontario forward Francisco Cordeiro connected on a goal 12 seconds later to push the Fury back out in front. Defender Evan McNeley and forward Dan Antoniuk wrapped up the third with back-to-back goals, giving the Stars a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish.

A quick goal from midfielder Joseph Cairel and empty net scores from Ramos and forward Joey Gjertsen, answered by a lone goal from Ontario midfielder Andy Reyes, closed out the contest and gave Tacoma an 8-5 victory.

The win was the Stars second of the season and their first divisional victory, vaulting them into second place in the MASL Pacific Division.

The Stars venture back out for a four-game road trip beginning with a match against the Dallas Sidekicks on Friday, Nov. 18 with a first kick scheduled for 5:35 p.m. PT.