By Ray Hamill — Local prep soccer action continues on Wednesday with another full slate of games as the Humboldt-Del Norte League begins to heat up.
In girls play, both Eureka and Arcata are off to impressive starts, having each won their opening two league games.
Eureka came away with a 2-0 victory at Fortuna last week, and followed that with a 13-0 win at South Fork over the weekend.
The high-scoring Loggers return home to host St. Bernard’s on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m.
Senior Olivia Stone has led the way in front of goal for the Loggers, netting five times in her first two games, while adding three assists, both team highs.
Senior Athena Miller and sophomore Keylei Carrol each have two goals.
Tigers starting to gel
The Arcata girls, meanwhile, have been just as impressive in attack, topping Del Norte 5-1 in their league opener last week and following that with a 7-0 win at home to Ferndale on Saturday.
“They’re starting to gel. They’re starting to come together,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said of his players.
Stranahan is back with the team after a two-year break because of work commitments, having previously coached the team for five years.
And he’s glad to be back at the helm.
“I absolutely love it,” he said. “Being away has made me appreciate it even more.”
The players seem to be responding, and appear ready to challenge for a league title that Eureka narrowly beat them to last season.
Senior Karina Zumbrun leads the way, with 11 of the team’s 21 goals this season, averaging almost two a game, to go with a team-high four assists.
Another senior, Nina Crossen, also has been impressive with has four goals and three assists.
“They’ve both stepped up big time as captains and taking on leadership roles,” the head coach said of the dynamic center midfield duo.
At the back, another senior, Gwyn Stratton is anchoring a strong defensive unit.
“Gwyn has become very vocal,” Stranahan said. “She’s become a really good leader at the back for us.”
The Tigers, 4-2 on the season, host Fortuna on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s a good group to work with,” the Arcata head coach said of his players. “They’re all coachable. They’re all enthusiastic. And they all work hard.”
The Huskies, who fell 1-0 to Arcata earlier in the season, are 0-1-1 in league play after losing to Eureka last week and tying St. Bernard’s 0-0 on Saturday.
St. Bernard’s, which defeated McKinleyville 1-0 last week, is now 4-1-1 on the season and 1-0-1 in league play.
McKinleyville (1-1-0 in league and 4-2 overall) bounced back from that league-opening defeat to top Del Norte 2-1 in Crescent City on Saturday, with Dakota Andersonspirit leading the attack with a goal and an assist.
Rayn Tripp added a goal, while freshman Cicely Jones had the other assist.
The Panthers are scheduled to play at South Fork (0-2 in league, 0-3 overall) on Wednesday.
Fortuna boys still unbeaten
On the boys side, frontrunners Fortuna will travel to Arcata on Wednesday trying to keep their fast start to the season going.
The Huskies are 2-0 in league play and 6-0 on the season.
The Tigers are 0-0-1 in league, having tied Del Norte last week.