TACOMA — The Sockers had 40 shots on goal Saturday night, Tacoma 16. But it was the Stars who prevailed, defeating the Sockers, 6-2, before 7,166 at the Tacoma Dome to end a three-game Major Indoor Soccer League losing streak.
Forward Preki scored a three-goal hat trick and added two assists for a five-point evening. Goal keeper Cris Vaccaro had 27 saves for Tacoma (18-28), the last place team in the Western Division.
The Sockers (20-24), tied for second with St. Louis in the Western Division, return to the Sports Arena--where they have won their last five games--for a match Wednesday night against the Wichita Wings.
The Tacoma goal wasn't the only thing the Sockers were missing against Tacoma as midfielder Waad Hirmez, their No. 3 scorer, missed the majority of the match after a first-quarter concussion.
The Sockers trailed, 3-1, at halftime but cut the gap to 3-2 on Cacho's goal at 2:47 of the third quarter, left-footing in the shot from a tough angle. Damir Haramina had the assist.
But the Sockers, which missed on so many scoring opportunities Saturday, again failed to capitalize on a power-play that overlapped the end of the third quarter. Tacoma's Ricky Davis was penalized for holding with 33 seconds remaining in the period and the Sockers got off four shots on the power play. But the Sockers couldn't score and still trailed despite outshooting Tacoma, 28-12, to that point.
Tacoma went up 4-2 on Gerry Gray's goal at 2:05 of the fourth quarter. Preki had the assist, his second of the game, to move past Kansas City's Dale Mitchell into third place on the MISL season scoring list.
The Sockers pulled their keeper in favor of a sixth attacker with 5:05 remaining. They got off two shots before Preki scored his third goal, this time into an empty net at 11:35, for a 5-2 Tacoma lead. Vaccaro had the assist.
Zoltan Toth was back in goal for the Sockers, but Bill Crook scored one more Tacoma goal on an assist from Waters at 12:22.
Despite out-shooting Tacoma, 21-10, in the first half, the Sockers managed just one goal.
The Sockers outshot the Stars, 8-5, during a scoreless first quarter.