by Pete Richmire/Stars

INDEPENDENCE, MO. –  The Tacoma Stars (2-1-0) returned to action after 27 days off with a tough road test in front of 4,011 fans at Cable Dahmer Arena Saturday night against the Kansas City Comets (4-3-2). Stars keeper Danny Waltman stopped 28 shots on the way to a 7-5 win for Tacoma.

The Comets got off to a quick start when Lesia Thetsane picked up a Stars turnover just inside the yellow line and shot a pass to a wide-open Nacho Flores who quickly put Kansas City up 1-0 with 10:15 still to go in the opening quarter.

The Stars’ Nick Perera found himself open on the left side and did a quick turn-and-shoot to beat Comets keeper Nicolau Neto to tie the game at 1-1, a score the teams took to the 2nd quarter.

Tacoma tallied the only two goals of the 2nd quarter, first a power play goal from Cory Keitz who buried the ball top-shelf from the top of the arc with 9:18 left until halftime, and Fellipe Souza’s first of the game with just 0:02 remaining.

The Comets’ first order of business in the 3rd quarter was killing a penalty and bringing Steven Tekesky in to replace Neto, who picked up a blue and yellow card with 5:52 to play in the frame.

Kansas City killed the penalty, but the Stars were able to extend their lead to three goals at 4-1 when Eddie Na connected with Philip Lund for the even-strength goal with 1:04 left in the 3rd.

The 3rd quarter was the Comets’ turn for a late goal as Richard Schmermund bounced a long-distance goal past Waltman to make it a 4-2 Tacoma lead headed to the final quarter.

Momentum changed Kansas City’s way when they found themselves on a power play with a Tacoma player down behind the play giving the Comets a 5-on-3 advantage. Lucas Sousa sent a pass to Leo Gibson for the power play goal cutting the deficit to just one at 4-3 with 8:56 to play.

Less than two minutes later, Benji Monreal fired a shot that Waltman blocked but Sousa was there to send home the rebound and level the game at 4-4 with 7:24 on the clock.

Tacoma netted three straight goals from Souza, Na, and Tyler John to give the Stars a comfortable 7-4 advantage with just 4:06 left.

The final goal of the night was a walla-scora effort for the Comets from Flores to Gibson with 26 seconds to play, arriving at the 7-5 final score.

The Stars return to accesso ShoWare Center on January 14 and 15 with a pair of games with the Harrisburg Heat. Saturday the 14th is Women of Soccer Appreciation Night with Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Cox on hand for the Ceremonial First Kick and a special early game featuring the Tacoma Galaxy which begins at 4:00 pm.


1st – KC Flores (Thetsane) 4:15; TAC Perera 10:10. Penalties – None.

2nd – TAC Keitz (Lund) 5:52 pp; TAC Souza (Lund) 14:58. Penalties – KC Monreal (bc- charging) 4:44; TAC Hollimon (bc- tripping) 10:44; KC Lee (bc- tripping) 11:11.

3rd – TAC Lund (Na) 13:56; KC Schmermund 14:34. Penalties – KC Neto (bc- boarding) 9:08; KC Neto (yc- delay of game after penalty) 9:08.

4th – KC Gibson (Sousa) 6:04; KC Sousa (Monreal) 7:36; TAC Souza (Perera) 8:05; TAC Na (Ramos) 9:20; TAC John 10:54 en; KC Gibson (Flores) 14:35. Penalties – TAC Lund (bc- boarding) 4:06; TAC Hanson (yc-dissent) 6:59; KC Marques (bc- handling) 11:14; KC Togbah (bc- four fouls in a half) 11:51.

Power Play – Stars 1/5, Kansas City 1/2

Shots – Stars 20, Kansas City 42

Fouls – Stars 19, Kansas City 20

Attendance – 4,011


The Stars return to the accesso ShoWare Center for two games against the Harrisburg Heat on January 14 and 15. Join us on the 14th for our Women of Soccer Appreciation Game with special guest Stephanie Cox for the Ceremonial First Kick and an early game featuring the Tacoma Galaxy. The 15th is Kid’s Day so don’t miss out and get your tickets to both games at today.


Select suites are still available for some games. Enjoy a Stars game with your family and friends in your own private suite! For more information call 1-844-STARS-84 today.

Stay up to date with the Stars by following them on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or Instagram (, and by liking the team on Facebook (

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