Stars Fall To Sockers 8-7 In Double Overtime

by Brett Gleason

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma Stars dropped their opening match in the 2016 Major Arena Soccer League playoffs by a score of 8-7 in double overtime to the San Diego Sockers on Wednesday night at the ShoWare Center.

Trailing 6-3 entering the fourth quarter, the Stars rallied with four goals to force overtime in the first leg of the playoff series before falling in the second of two 10-minute overtime periods.

Sockers forward Kraig Chiles opened up the scoring with a goal 57 seconds into the match, giving San Diego an early 1-0 lead. Tacoma forward Mark Lee followed eight minutes later with an equalizer, but three more Sockers goals would give the visitors a 4-1 lead heading into the second quarter.

The first 12 minutes of the second quarter went by without a score, until Tacoma forward Derek Johnson netted a goal, cutting the Sockers lead to 4-2. As time expired in the first half, San Diego goalkeeper Chris Toth took control of an errant free kick and worked a goal, giving the Sockers a 5-2 halftime advantage.

A San Diego own goal just over a minute into the third quarter, later credited to Tacoma midfielder Raphael Cox, pulled the Stars back within two at 5-3. However, another last-second goal to close out the third, this time from Sockers midfielder Luan Oliveiras, pushed San Diego’s lead back out to 6-3.

Tacoma rallied for four goals in the final period of regulation from forward Vince McCluskey, defender Steve Mohn, midfielder Michael Ramos, and Cox. The Stars offensive onslaught was countered by one goal from San Diego. Cox notched his equalizer off a free kick with under one minute left in regulation, sending the match to overtime.

The first of two 10-minute, sudden victory overtime periods ended fruitlessly for both clubs, despite a myriad of chances. Chiles scored his fourth goal of the night exactly halfway through the second overtime period, giving the Sockers the 8-7 win.

Cox finished with a pair of goals to lead the Stars offense, while goalkeeper Danny Waltman tallied 15 saves on 23 shots.

Tacoma will now travel to San Diego for the second leg of the series with the Sockers this Sunday, Mar. 6 at 5:05 p.m. PT. The Stars must earn a win on Sunday to force a separate 15-minute mini game to determine the series.

Season tickets for the Stars 2016-17 season are available now. To purchase, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Stars online at The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.