by Tacoma Stars

TACOMA, WA. - The Tacoma Stars (11-9-1) needed a win to stay close in the race for a Western Conference playoff spot and rolled to a dominant 12-3 win over the visiting Dallas Sidekicks (0-18-3) Friday night at the accesso ShoWare Center for the team's home finale. With the win, Tacoma leap-frogged from sixth to fourth place in the standings. They are even with Mesquite with 33 points but hold the regulation-wins tiebreaker and are one point ahead of Monterrey, though the Flash have a game in hand. One thing is for certain, with three games left on the schedule, it's going to be an entertaining eight days for MASL fans. 

There was never a doubt in this contest, unlike the teams' March 3 meeting in Texas, as Tacoma jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter in front of over 1,800 fans. 10 different Tacoma players registered a goal in a game that featured two very big milestones for Nick Perera.

The first came with the Stars already up 2-0 on goals by Perera and Mike Ramos in the opening frame. With 9:13 to play in the 1st, Perera connected with Logan Jones on a goal making it a 3-0 Tacoma advantage. That assist was Perera's 200th MASL career regular-season assist making him only the second player in MASL history to reach that mark.

After Nani Mendoza scored to reach the 4-0 lead after 15 minutes of play, the teams went scoreless in the 2nd quarter. 

Though he did not figure in the scoring during the game, another highlight of the evening was certainly the return to the Northwest of Seattle Sounders legend Román Torres, now a member of the Dallas Sidekicks. The loud welcome he received during introductions and the number of Torres Sounders jerseys in the stands showed he remains a favorite of Seattle soccer fans.

Tacoma picked up where they left off in the 3rd quarter with goals by Tyler John, Alex Caceres, and Gil De La Luz to build the Stars' lead to 7-0 with 11:39 remaining in the quarter.

Dallas finally got the ball past Stars keeper Danny Waltman on back-to-back goals by Flavio Guzman and Alberto Rodriguez to cut into Tacoma's lead a bit. With 1:22 to go in the 3rd, Tacoma led by a 7-2 score.

The Stars were not done in the quarter as just eight seconds after Dallas' second goal, Fellipe Souza responded to give Tacoma an 8-2 advantage heading to the final quarter.

After Ramos, Jamael Cox, and Eddie Na found the back of the next for Tacoma Perera's second milestone of the evening was achieved.

With the Dallas sixth-attacker on and two Stars empty-net goals already in the books, Perera added a third and in doing so became only the fourth player in MASL history to reach the 400 regular-season point club. He joins Franck Tayou, Ian Bennett, and Leo Gibson to accomplish this incredible feat. 

His goal built the Stars' lead to 12-2 with 2:08 to play. 

The Sidekicks were able to tack on a third goal off the foot of Kristian Quintana, who snuck one past Tacoma keeper Mike Arguello who played the final nine minutes of the game.

The same teams will meet Sunday at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center in Allen, Texas to conclude their season series. The game kicks off at 1 pm PDT and will be televised on MASLtv's Twitch TV.