KENT, WA—The WISL championship game-bound Tacoma Stars have more reason to celebrate tonight, as the team captured their first ever win in MASL play against the Turlock Express. The Stars took the game by a score of 12-2 as Mark Lee and Derek Johnson both scored multiple goals in Tacoma’s last MASL home match of the season. The match also marked Tacoma’s highest home attendance of the season. as 1,123 fans were witnesses of the Stars’ first MASL win on Sunday night.
The game’s opening quarter was very tightly contested, as only one goal was scored between the two sides. After picking up a free kick opportunity early in the first quarter, Mark Lee found Derek Johnson who hit the ball in the lower corner of the net to put the Stars up by one. The Express couldn’t get into their rhythm on offense following this goal, and the opening quarter ended with Tacoma up by a score of 1-0.
Turlock were finally able to get on the board in the second quarter when Adrian Pulido sent in a wicked cross towards the far post that was capitalized on by Jorge Carmona. However, Tacoma immediately bounced back with a pair of goals after conceding what would be the lone Turlock goal of the half. Troy Peterson and Mark Lee each tallied their first goal of the night in the latter portion of the second quarter to put the Stars up 3-1 at the halftime break.
The floodgate of goals opened for Tacoma in the third quarter, as the Stars dropped five goals on the Express and jumped out to a seven goal lead. Mark Lee completed his hat trick in the quarter and Derek Johnson was able to finish his brace. In addition to Lee’s and Johnson’s goals, Chris Raymond and Evan Denmark recorded their first goals of the game. Tacoma was able to hold Turlock scoreless again in the third quarter.
The Stars kept the goals coming in the closing quarter of the game. Tacoma added on three more goals to their night in the early portion of the fourth quarter. Vince McCluskey and Danny Minniti got on the board for the first time in the match while Mark Lee scored his fourth goal of the evening. Turlock were able to score their second goal of the evening while on the power play, but Mark Lee would quickly respond with his fifth goal of the game that provided the 12th and final Tacoma goal.
The next time Tacoma will be in action is February 14th against Bellingham United for the WISL championship. The WISL Final will take place inside of the Tacoma Soccer Center and kickoff is slated for 7:30 PT. Tickets for the match will become available for purchase online on the Stars’ website on Monday, February 9th at 10:00 AM!
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