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Stars Stop Sockers in Overtime

February 05, 1989|JOHN LAWRENCE

TACOMA, Wash. — There are two constants when the Sockers meet the Tacoma Stars: The game will be close, and it will be physical.

So it was Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome. The Stars won the Major Indoor Soccer League game, 4-3, when Preki ripped in a 45-footer with his left foot at 3:00 of the second overtime before 8,868.

Godfrey Ingram got the assist with a perfect square pass from the right boards.

Thus Tacoma, with a penchant for losing the close ones, ended its streak of one-goal losses at six against the last team it beat that way.

The Sockers fell to 13-12, failing for the third consecutive game to get Ron Newman his 500th career coaching victory. Tacoma (12-14) is back in fifth place and in the playoff hunt.

Tacoma had the best of the early part of the overtime, but a couple of saves by Victor Nogueira of high drives by Preki and Ingram kept the Stars at bay.

From the beginning of this game, the battle lines were apparent: Branko Segota versus the world.

Segota started exchanging words with Tacoma's Neil Megson early, then jawed at the Stars' Gregg Blasingame and finally exchanged elbows with Tacoma's Bill Crook early in the fourth quarter.

A few minutes later, at 4:41, he tripped Blasingame to draw 2 minutes, and the Stars scored the go-ahead goal on a power play at 5:26. Ingram nicely slid a diagonal pass just in front of Nogueira, and Peter Ward flicked it in at the far post.

The Sockers tied it at 3-3 at 11:42 when Cacho's drive hit the crossbar and the rebound fell at the feet of Alan Willey, who finished it with a slide volley.

The Sockers' first lead was at 2-1, 43 seconds into the second half. Rookie Paul Wright, on right wing on a two-on-one break, took Cacho's pass on the run. Tacoma goalkeeper P.J. Johns came out, but Wright shot past him and inside the far post for his first MISL goal.

Tacoma tied it 2-2 at 2:45 when Andy Schmetzer swiped an outlet pass from Nogueira that was intended for Gus Mokalis. Schmetzer's low drive from right wing was inside the far post.

In a 1-1 first half, Tacoma scored first at 1:08 of the second quarter on a bit of magic created by Preki.

The Stars midfielder blew past Chris Chueden on right wing and squared a pass to the feet of Schmetzer on the run. Schmetzer's low drive from 35 feet was just inside the near post.

The Socks tied it at 9:45 on a power-play goal by Paul Dougherty after Tacoma was whistled for its sixth foul.

Steve Zungul headed a ball through the box that Dougherty half-volleyed off the far post and in.

The Sockers then thwarted a Stars power play after Sockers' sixth foul, though a shot by Preki hit the post.

Though there was no score in the physical early going, both Johns and Nogueira were called upon to make saves often in the first 10 minutes.

Johns choked off a one-on-one by Socker defender George Fernandez in the box and stopped rockets by Ralf Wilhelms and Mokalis.

Nogueira saved shots by Preki and Star midfielder Nikki Ristic.

Sockers Notes

Socker Coach Ron Newman picked up a yellow card for dissent early in the overtime. . . . The Sockers played without Brian Quinn and Zoran Karic, who came down with a bruised right foot. Rookie Paul Wright played in place of Karic up front. . . . Tacoma radio broadcaster Dick Calvert will originate a veteran radio broadcast from the MISL All-Star game in Dallas, but XTRA (690 AM), the Sockers' outlet, has no plans to carry the game, according to Sockers broadcaster Randy Hahn. . . . Steve Zungul received hoots and jeers for the Tacoma crowd in his first game here since leaving the Stars after last season.

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