by Pete Richmire

The Tacoma Stars opened their 2024 USL League two campaign facing the defending league champion Ballard FC squad Sunday afternoon at Bellarmine Memorial Field and it took a very last-minute goal by Ballard to secure a 2-2 draw in front of a nice Opening Day crowd. The teams were level at 1-1 at the half and Ballard scored their second goal in the 94th minute to salvage their point against the Stars.

It didn't take long for Ballard to get on the board following a Stars corner kick, FC broke out the opposite direction and Austin Brummet connected with Seattle University alum Peter Kingston for the 9th minute goal to put the Stars down 1-0 early.

Both teams were very measured on their attacks in the first half and only went offsides once each in the 32nd minute. Just five minutes later, the first Stars' goal in their USL Two history came off the foot of Charlie Koskakoff, who beat Ballard goalkeeper Charles Lanphier on a breakaway from the right side. His goal brought the Stars even at 1-1 and the teams reached halftime at that score.

The Stars took the lead in the 69th minute when a pair of second half substitutions connected for Tacoma. Connor Tolland and Johnny Ramirez entered the match in the 61st minute and the latter put the Stars up 2-1 with his first goal of the season.

Time was winding down for Ballard FC and they needed every second of the four minutes of added time in the second half to equalize the match. Christian Engmann found a loose ball in a scrum in front of Stars goalkeeper Brady McSwain following a corner kick and sent it just under the crossbar for the last play of the game and pull even at 2-2.

It's a short week for the Stars as they are back in action on Friday, May 24 at Bellarmine Memorial Field hosting FC Olympia at 7 pm. Tickets are available at