TACOMA, WA — (club release) The Tacoma Stars (12-7) face a must-win game in the Pacific Division playoff race when they host the Ontario Fury (12-7) this Friday, Feb. 26 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.
With both teams sporting a record of 12-7, the winner of Friday’s match will be guaranteed the last remaining spot in the Major Arena Soccer League playoffs that begin next week.
Stars midfielder Michael Ramos kept the club’s postseason hopes alive with a last-second goal that lifted Tacoma to an 8-7 victory over the San Diego Sockers last weekend. Ramos’ efforts earned him MASL Team of the Week honorable mention for week 18.
The Fury earned a 9-6 victory in the two club’s one prior meeting this season, a Friday, Dec. 18 matchup in Ontario. Tacoma forward Dan Antoniuk led the Stars on offense with a brace in the match.
Ontario forward Mauricio Salles leads the Fury and is ranked fourth in the league with 45 points coming off 29 goals and 16 assists. Salles earned MASL Team of the Week honors for week 18 after recording his second game-winning goal of the season against Sonora. Goalkeeper Sanaldo Freitas ranks among the top five keepers in the league in minutes (second, 1139:14) and saves (third, 281).
Defender Adam West (26) and forwards Derek Johnson (23) and Dan Antoniuk (21) lead the Stars in points, and have combined for 24 points in Tacoma’s last five matches. West alone has scored seven goals in his last five contests, including two braces. Goalkeeper Danny Waltman has played all of Tacoma’s minutes in goal this season, and ranks in the top five in the league in minutes (first, 1148:25), saves (fifth, 265), wins (tied-fifth, 12), and goals against average (fifth, 5.49).
The Stars will sport specialty jerseys during the match that feature select pieces of the Tacoma skyline. These jerseys will be auctioned off during the match, with 100 percent of the profits going to support Kamrey Russ, a local fan fighting a battle with liver cancer. To learn more about Kamrey’s story, visit http://www.tacomastars.com.
Single game tickets, group outings, and suite offerings for the Tacoma Stars 2015-16 season are available now. To purchase, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Stars online at http://www.tacomastars.com. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars 2015-16 season can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.