by Pete Richmire

ALLEN, TX. - The Tacoma Stars (11-10-1) completed their home-and-home series with the Dallas Sidekicks (1-18-3) on a day in which both of the other teams they are locked in a battle for a playoff with spot lost their games. Less than 48 hours after running wild on the Sidekicks in a 12-3 win at home, the Stars fell victim to Dallas who earned their first win of the year by a 5-3 final at Credit Union of Texas Event Center.

A win for the Stars would have brought them within two points of a playoff spot and looked to be headed in that direction after Nick Perera and Tyler John netted the first goals of the game to put Tacoma up 2-0 after one quarter of play. As it happened on Friday, today's game also featured a scoreless second quarter but instead of the Stars building on that opening frame lead, the Sidekicks rolled over Tacoma with five consecutive goals.

Not just five consecutive goals, five consecutive goals scored by five different Dallas players with three assists also coming from different players. In all, eight players found their way onto the scoresheet in taking a 5-2 lead with just 3:02 to play in the game.

Going back to March 3 which is the last time Tacoma was in Allen to face the Sidekicks, Tacoma trailed by as many as four goals in the second half before Jamael Cox scored with 37 seconds left to force overtime and then nailed the game-winner to stun Dallas.

Thoughts of that game came forward when Adam West converted an Alex Caceres assist to cut the Dallas lead to just two, at 5-3 with 2:08 still left.

Unlike March 3, the Sidekicks' defense stood tall to the challenge in the final two minutes in front of keeper Juan Gamboa to prevent Tacoma from getting any closer and picked up the win.

The Stars are still even on points with Mesquite and a point ahead of Monterrey, however, they close out the regular season with stops in Ontario against the Empire Strykers on Thursday and in San Diego on Saturday. 

Tacoma still controls its own destiny on a path to the post-season but unless they pick up points in two tough road venues, they will need help from other teams to secure a spot in the 2023 Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.