by Pete Richmier

MESQUITE, TX. – The Tacoma Stars (3-5) opened their weekend doubleheader in Mesquite Saturday night against the Outlaws (3-4) and led the match from first goal to last, finishing with an 8-5 win. Nick Perera notched a hat trick and Alex Megson added a pair of goals for Tacoma in the victory.

Tacoma owned the only goals scored in the first quarter beginning with a shootout off the foot of Perera. Mesquite’s Oscar Romero drew a blue card for pushing with 8:35 left to play in the opening frame. That set up the shootout and Perera used a double fake while going to his left to get past the Outlaw keeper and slide the ball into the back of the net for the one-goal lead. The next Tacoma goal should be an MASL Goal of the Year nominee. Alex Caceres sent a cross-pitch pass in the air to the left side of the Messquite goal. Megson timed it perfectly and launched a rocket off a bicycle kick to put the Stars up 2-0 after the first quarter.

Mike Ramos found Perera for a 3-0 Stars lead with 11:25 remaining in the first half. A pair of Outlaw goals, from Anthony Powell and Romero cut the Stars lead to just one at 3-2. The goal from Romero was the first career marker for the Mesquite rookie. Alessandro Canale converted on an Adrian Correa assist to double the Stars lead with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter. Megson’s second goal of the match, assisted by Ramos put Tacoma in front 5-2 after the first half.

Mesquite opened second half scoring on Romero’s second of the night with an assist by VcMor Eligwe just over a minute into the quarter. Perera completed his hat trick on Ramos’ third assist of the match to give the Stars a 6-3 advantage with 11:00 on the third quarter clock. It was a 7-3 lead for the visitors after Perera picked up his fourth point of the match on his assist on Jamael Cox’s goal to finish scoring in the third quarter.

Mesquite set up a great finish by knocking in the first two goals of the final quarter. The first from Bradlee Baldez followed by Powell’s third goal of the match. With the Tacoma lead at just two with 2:28 remaining, Mesquite pulled their keeper in favor of a sixth attacker. The Tacoma defense backed by keeper Danny Waltman fended of a flurry of Outlaw shots to preserve the lead and set up the final goal of the game. With three seconds to play, Caceres launched the ball into Mesquite’s empty net to give Tacoma the 8-5 win.

Tacoma concludes their six-game road trip tomorrow night in Dallas. It will be the Sidekicks’ second game of the weekend as well following their 7-1 loss in Mesquite Friday night.


1st – TAC Perera 6:28 shootout; TAC Megson (Caceres) 12:25. Penalties – MSQ Romero blue card (pushing) 6:25.

2nd – TAC Perera (Ramos) 3:35; MSQ Powell (Lee) 3:59; MSQ Romero (Powell) 5:17; TAC Canale (Correa) 7:12; TAC Megson (Ramos) 12:16. Penalties – none.

3rd – MSQ Romero (Eligwe) 1:01; TAC Perera (Ramos) 4:00; TAC J. Cox (Perera) 5:55; Penalties – MSQ David yellow card (dissent) 6:13.

4th – MSQ Baldez (Ramirez) 12:03; MSQ Powell 12:32; TAC Caceres 14:57. Penalties – none.

Attendance – 1,738

The Stars will conclude their six-game road stretch tomorrow, Sunday January 5 when they face the Dallas at 1:05 pm PST. You can catch all the action on

The Stars return to the accesso ShoWare Center on Friday January 10, 2020 when they welcome Western Conference foe Turlock Cal Express to kick off the new year. Game time is 7:35 pm and you can get your tickets at today!