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Stars Score Two Late Goals, Beat Savage 6-5 in Game One

April 6, 2024 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) News Release

Kent, WA - The Tacoma Stars entered the MASL Western Conference Semifinals on a nine-game win streak and scored two goals in the final two minutes to defeat the Chihuahua Savage 6-5 at the accesso ShoWare Center Friday night. The Stars were powered by a Stefan Mijatovic hat trick, including the game-winning goal with 1:27 left to play in regulation.

Chihuahua took a very early lead on an Angel Castro goal less than two minutes into the contest before the Stars rallied for the next three markers to take the first of two, two-goal leads they held during the game. Following strikes by Justin Stinson and Jamael Cox, Mijatovic scored his first of the night to give Tacoma a 3-1 with 13:11 to go in the first half.

The teams traded goals before the break, first by Hugo Puentes and Mijatovic for Tacoma to give the Stars a 4-2 lead at the break.

Momentum shifted to the visitors in the third quarter and goals from Brandon Gonzalez and Jorge Rios tied the game at 4-4 with just 1:16 to go in the frame.

Chihuahua kept the pressure on and took their first and only lead of the night when Gonzalez connected with Roberto Escalante with 4:08 to play in regulation.

The Stars pulled winning goalkeeper Chris Toth in favor of the sixth attacker of Cox, who finished the night with two points. With the clock showing less than two minutes to play, Mike Ramos found Nani Mendoza just in front of the goal to tie the game at 5-5 with 1:56 on the clock.

Less than 30 seconds later, it was Nick Perera's second assist of the night that set up the game-winning goal for the Stars, who including the regular-season, defeated the Savage for the third time this season.

The series now shifts to Corner Sport Arena in Chihuahua for Game Two and a possible knock-out game on Sunday, April 7 at 6 pm PDT.

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