by Pete Richmire

KENT, WA. – The Stars (1-2-0) notched their first win of the season as they topped the Baltimore Blast (1-3-0) by a 7-4 final at the accesso ShoWare Center on Sunday evening. Baltimore wrapped up the weekend with a win and a loss after beating Empire on Friday in Ontario and then coming up short against the Stars. Tacoma keeper Chris Toth secured his first win with the Stars since his return to the team.

The lone goal of the opening frame came courtesy of deep pressure by the Stars in front of Baltimore keeper Mike Zierhoffer. Alex Caceres was about 3 yards from the goal line but had a wide open Nick Perera in front of the far post. He slid a pass to Perera who converted on the easy tap-in for his third goal of the season and gave Tacoma a 1-0 lead headed to the second quarter. 

The Stars benefited again in the second quarter as Caceres picked up his second assist of the game, this time to Mike Ramos who went top shelf for his second goal of the season and a 2-0 Tacoma lead.

The first penalty of the game lead to Baltimore’s first goal as Chase Hanson drew a blue card and the Blast’s Moises Gonzalez found the back of the net to cut Tacoma’s advantage to just 2-1. The teams went to the locker room with that score. 

Tacoma’s third goal of the game was Perera’s second as he picked up a loose ball following a shot by Jamael Cox which was blocked. Perera buried the shot and Tacoma lead 3-1 with 12:16 to play in the third.

Less than two minutes later, Alessandro Canale had the ball at the left side end boards and found Logan Jones in the middle of the box. Jones one-timed a shot past Zierhoffer for his first goal of the season and a 4-1 Stars lead with 10:35 on the clock in the 3rd

The newest member of the Baltimore Blast, Jairo Guevara picked up an assist on Ricardinho Sobreira second goal of the campaign to narrow Tacoma’s lead to 4-2 with 9:48 remaining in the 3rd frame.

Baltimore tallied the final goal of the quarter off the foot of Juan Pereira to head to the 4th quarter trailing the Stars by a single goal at 4-3.

With 10:11 to go in regulation, Ramos sent a pass to a sliding Adrian Correa in the box who beat Zierhoffer to extend the Stars lead to two at 5-3.

Tacoma tacked on another goal when Correa went solo from the left side to the top of the box and blasted it past the Baltimore keeper for a 6-3 lead with 6:43 to play.

The Blast pulled their keeper in favor of a sixth attacker and the teams traded goals beginning with Perera’s third of the night on another assist by Correa. Correa led all scorers with four points on a pair of goals and assists. 

Baltimore did convert on their sixth attacker on Gonzalez’s second of the game to reach the 7-4 final. 

Tacoma will play their next two games on the road in Southern California with stops in Ontario and San Diego on December 28 and 30 before returning home to face the Utica City FC on January 6.