Bellingham United hosted the Tacoma Stars Saturday night, Jan. 31to over 400 fans. It was a thriller of a match that kept the fans going until the final buzzer as United came up just short 9-7. “It was a good game,” United’s head coach Mark Lackey said. “Our mistakes created their chances and that kills you.” Bellingham United got off to a quick 2-0 start as Nick Cashmere scored twice to start the match, the first coming at the 14:12 mark and the second coming at 9:50 as he busted past the Stars defense for both scores. The Stars answered with a goal four minutes later. With 2:12 left in the quarter, Kellen Brown found the back of the net giving United a 3-1 lead. The Stars struck with less than a minute to go and the United lead decreased to one – 3-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Stars come out of the gates hot, scoring just :58 into the quarter to tie the match. Branden Quilici tallied a goal five minutes later to give Bellingham United the advantage again. However, with less than five minutes to play in the quarter, Ed Watembe struck for his second goal of the night to tie the match 4-4 going into halftime. Tacoma had two quick goals to start the third period and jumped out to a 6-4 lead just two minutes into the quarter. At the 2:00 mark, Quilici scored his second goal of the night off of a great power play shot to the upper right hand corner. And with just 0:15 before the buzzer, Oscar Jimenez sped past the Stars and fired the tying goal from the red line with a monster blast – the match was tied 6-6 going into the final quarter of play. The Stars scored first in the final period at the 7:00 mark, but Bellingham United answered less than a minute later with the best goal of the night. Kellen Brown notched his second goal of the night as he headed a ball past the Stars goalie, Oscar Jimenez set up the score beautifully with an assist off the boards. The Stars struck again at 5:40 in the period to give them an 8-7 advantage. With two minutes to go, Quilici stepped in at keeper to be used as an extra attacker. The Stars were able to take advantage with 15 seconds to play scoring a goal to win the match 9-7. “It will be a good match if we are able to get through our first playoff game and play them in the finals,” Lackey said. “We first have to get through Wenatchee.” Bellingham United will return home to host the Wenatchee Fire on Saturday, February 7th in the first round of the playoffs. The match is set to start at 7:20 p.m., so come on down to the Plex and root on United as they look to go to the championship match in the inaugural season for the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL). We would like to thank all those in attendance making it a great night for soccer in Bellingham. Bellingham United thanks you.