by Pete Richmire

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. - The Tacoma Stars used two goals from Nick Perera and a third from goalkeeper Chris Toth to beat Maryzillians 3-2 to win the North American Sand Soccer U.S. Men's Open Division Championship. The win completed a tournament sweep for the Stars, who went 6-0 over the weekend. 

This year's Championship team included current Stars Nick Perera, Cory Keitz, and Fellipe Souza. Joining them were former Stars Chris Toth, Alessandro Canale, and Mike Palmerin, MASL players Ricardo Carvalho, and Thyago Henrique, who also competed for the Stars Reserves, U.S. Beach National Team member Alan Franco, and Virginia Beach native Kambez Shukoor. 

It was a total team effort, as Perera recognized by saying, “The team showed determination and fight throughout, but above all, in true Tacoma Stars fashion, displayed humility and a commitment to each other that pushed us over the edge. It was a memorable tournament, and the support we received from our Stars fans made the win that much sweeter.”

Perera, the reigning MASL MVP and scoring champion, received the NASSC Tournament MVP Award after the Finals. Toth, who also scored a couple of highlight-reel goals in the tournament, was named the Tournament's Top Goalkeeper.