STARS COME FROM BEHIND TO TOP FLORIDA 7-6 IN OVERTIME
LAKELAND, FL. – The Stars (2-2) wrapped up their first of three games this week with a come-from-behind win over the Florida Tropics (7-2) Thursday afternoon at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland Florida. Tacoma trailed 5-3 to begin the 4th quarter but scored four of the game’s final five goals to raise their season record to .500 and hand Florida their first home loss of the year. The Stars have now gone to extra time in three of their first four games of the season.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Tropics nabbed a pair of goals in the second beginning with one from the MASL leader in scoring, Ian Bennett. He was rushing the back post and Jake Schindler, making his Florida debut, slid a pass to him for his 13th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead with 4:47 to go in the first half. Joey Tavernese connected with Nate Bordeau with a pass of the wall to put the Tropics up 2-0 at the break.
Tacoma began their scoring when Vini Dantas fired a shot from a distance outside near the right boards and beat Florida keeper Hugo Silva to make it a 2-1 Tropics lead with 11:26 to go in the 3rd.
Coming into the game, the Stars had been perfect against the power play and had already killed a Tropics man advantage in the first half. After Adriano Dos Santos was issued a blue card for boarding it took Zach Reget just 16 second to convert on a Florida power play giving the Tropics a 3-1 margin. Less than a minute later Nick Perera went five-hole against Silva off a set piece and once again cut Florida’s lead to just one at 3-2 with 8:55 remaining in the 3rd.
Later in the quarter came a sequence which makes arena soccer the exciting sport that it is. In a span of 41 seconds, the teams combined for three goals starting with Florida’s Jake Schindler netting his first since joining the Tropics on loan. Next, Perera slid a pass to Mike Ramos, who raced in on a breakaway and made it a 4-3 Florida advantage with 3:36 to go in the 3rd. The final goal of the frame was Bennett’s second of the game to give Florida a two-goal lead for the fourth time in the game.
To open scoring in the 4th, Jamael Cox took advantage of a Florida turnover and rushed the net on another Stars breakaway and once again, the Stars were within one, this time at 5-4 with 9:21 to go in regulation.
As the Tropics disputed a foul, Nick Perera took advantage with a quick start and ricocheted a shot off the Florida keeper to tie the game 5-5 with 7:51 on the clock. Inside of the five-minute mark, Victor Parreiras connected with Joshio Sandoval to put the Tropics in front 6-5 marching towards the end of the game.
Within a cluster of players in front of the Florida goal, Dantas managed to direct the ball past Silva with the Stars playing with a sixth attacker to level the game at 6-6 with 2:18 remaining. Regulation time expired and the teams headed to their benches ahead of the 10-minute, golden-goal overtime period.
It did not take 10 minutes. It did not even take 10 seconds as Ramos was credited with the game-winning goal which found its way into the net off a pair of Tropics defenders to end the game. Tacoma is now 2-1 in overtime games this year.
The Stars are back at it tomorrow against Franck Tayou and the Ontario Fury at 12 pm PST. You can catch every minute of that match right here - https://www.facebook.com/MASLsoccer/events
1st – none. Penalties – TAC De Oliveira blue card (kicking) 6:33.
2nd – FLA Bennett (Schindler) 10:13; FLA Bordeau (Tavernese) 11:46. Penalties – none.
3rd – TAC Dantas (Da Silva) 3:34; FLA Reget (Carvalho) 5:27 PP; TAC Perera 6:05; FLA Schindler (Bennett) 11:01; TAC Ramos (Perera) 11:24; FLA Bennett (Tavernese) 11:42. Penalties – TAC Dos Santos blue card (boarding) 5:11.
4th – TAC Cox 5:39; TAC Perera 7:09; FLA Sandoval (Parreiras) 9:42; TAC Dantas (Ramos) 12:42. Penalties – none.
OT – TAC Ramos (De Oliveira) 0:09. Penalties – none.
Shots – Tacoma 3-2-6-8-1 (20), Florida 2-11-5-3-0 (21)