#1 Tacoma Stars Reserves 7, #2 Everett City 5
The Tacoma Stars Reserves used a three goal third quarter to build a 7-2 lead and then held on down the stretch to win their second straight Western Indoor Soccer League championship and fourth overall with a 7-5 win over Everett City in front of a big crowd at the Tacoma Soccer Center. Craig Johnson and Isidro Prado-Huerta each scored twice for the Stars, who finished off an unbeaten season with the win.
Tacoma opened up the scoring just two minutes in with a strike by Alexander Coope, but Everett equalized just 20 seconds later on a goal by Cristiano Whitaker. The Stars made it 2-1 when Johnson slotted home his first goal of the game off an assist from Cris Lozano and the first 15 minutes came to an end with the Stars up by one.
Kyle Rivers put the Stars up 3-1 at the 5:04 mark of the second quarter but Everett answered right back moments later when Jason Herrera set up Flavio Espinoza’s first goal of the game that got them within a goal at 3-2. A pair of blue cards to Everett set up Prado-Huerta’s power play goal off of an assist from Steve Mohn and Tacoma took a 4-2 lead into the halftime break.
Tacoma took control in the third quarter on three goals, the first from Danny Minniti thanks to an assist from Mark Lee at the 11:36 mark, Prado-Huerta’s second goal off of an assist from Rivers with 8:13 left in the quarter, and then Johnson’s second on Lee’s second assist of the quarter at the 4:34 mark that gave Tacoma their largest lead, 7-3.
Everett started to chip away at that lead starting with Edgar Tavares’s goal at the 3:27 mark of the third quarter. Johan Espinoza then slots home a pass from Noe Betancourt Cruz with 9:04 left in the game to make it 7-4. They then get within two goals, 7-5, when Johan Espinoza set up Flavio Espinoza’s second goal of the game with 4:12 left, but Everett ran out of time and Tacoma goalkeeper Luis Birrueta and the Stars Reserves defense held on down the stretch to take the 7-5 victory and the WISL championship.
The Stars finished off the season with a 13-0-1 record while capturing their second straight title. They are now 24-1-1 over the last two seasons with two championships. The team now has four titles overall, tying Bellingham United for the most in league history.
Everett City finished their inaugural campaign at 10-4-0. They are the first team to appear in the WISL championship game besides Bellingham United and the Tacoma Stars Reserves since the Olympic Force made two title games in the 2015-206 and 2016-2017 seasons.
Tacoma goals: Craig Johnson (2), Isidro Prado-Huerta (2), Alexander Coope, Kyle Rivers, Danny Minniti
Everett goals: Flavio Espinoza (2), Cristiano Whitaker, Edgar Tavares, Johan Espinoza