Stars Win Divisional Match Over Sockers

by Brett Gleason

TACOMA, Wash. -- A fourth quarter power play goal off the foot of forward Alex Megson lifted the Tacoma Stars (6-3) to an 8-7 victory over the San Diego Sockers (6-3) on Sunday evening at the ShoWare Center.

The win kept the Stars perfect home record (4-0) intact, and moved the club into a tie for first in the Major Arena Soccer League Pacific Division with San Diego.

After a combined 10 goals in the first half, Tacoma and San Diego posted only five goals in the third and fourth quarters. Tacoma goals from Megson and forward Joey Gjertsen over the match’s final five minutes brought the Stars from down one all the way to victory.

Megson led the Stars with four points off two goals and two assists on the night, while midfielder Derek Johnson contributed a trio of points on a brace and one assist. Tacoma goalkeeper Danny Waltman logged 14 saves on 21 shots over a full 60 minutes in goal.

A pair of Sockers goals, both from Brandon Escoto, sandwiched a trio of Tacoma scores in the first quarter. Midfielder Raphael Cox scored first for the Stars, followed by Johnson and Cox once more to end the first period with Tacoma leading, 3-2.

The score flipped in the second period, with San Diego scoring three times to the Stars two. Matt Clare struck twice midway through the period to put the Sockers out in front, 4-3. Tacoma found an equalizer off the foot of midfielder Troy Peterson, while a sliding goal from Megson put the Stars back on top, 5-4. However, with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, Clare dropped in his third goal of the match to even the score at 5-5.

The Stars and Sockers exchanged goals in the third period, and a goal from San Diego’s Max Touloute just under two minutes into the final frame put the visitors on top, 7-6. Gjertsen tied the match at 7-7 before Megson connected on his game-winning goal just under three minutes later.

The Stars will now take a nearly three-week break in play for the holidays before returning to action against Atletico Baja on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the ShoWare Center. First kick is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT.