The two frontrunners in the Humboldt-Del Norte League each won in boys soccer on Saturday, setting up a pair of crucial showdowns that will decide this year’s championship.
Fortuna defeated St. Bernard’s 13-0 in Eureka to stay perfect in the HDN, scoring six goals in the first half and seven more in the second half on the way to the big win.
With the victory, Fortuna improved to 10-0 in league play, and 14-1-0 on the season.
Del Norte, however, remained in the mix with an important 3-0 win at McKinleyville, also remaining undefeated in league play.
With the win, their sixth straight, the Warriors improved to 8-0-2 in league play, right on the leaders’ tails.
The two teams will meet twice in 10 days, beginning with a showdown in Crescent City on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m.
For McKinleyville, which dropped to 5-4-1 in league play, the loss all but ends any chance of finishing second.
“We didn’t have the energy today,” Mack head coach Ryne Deppe said. “Homecoming took it out on us. It just wasn’t our day.”
Center back Jair Gonzalez had a big game for the Panthers in the loss.
In other boys games this weekend, Arcata rolled over Ferndale on Friday, 8-0, while Eureka got a forfeit win over South Fork.
In girls action this weekend, Eureka officially moved one step closer to retaining their league title, with a forfeit win over South Fork.
With the victory, the Loggers are now 10-0 in the H-DNL, and retain a two-and-a-half game lead over second-placed Fortuna with just four games remaining.
Fortuna kept their slim chances of wining the championship alive, and further solidified their chase for second, with a 4-0 win at St. Bernard’s.
Kallia Yang scored twice in the win, while Sarah Killfoil added a goal and an assist, and Briana Rimney scored a goal.
Aubrey Hall also had an assist for the Huskies, who improved to 7-2-1 in league play and 8-3-1 overall.
It was a hard-fought game,” Fortuna head coach Kevin O’Neil said. “St. Bernard’s didn’t give up. They played right to the end.
“But behind a strong defensive performance with our back line and goalkeeper Kelli Ford, we held them off.”
Arcata also won this weekend, beating the Wildcats 5-1 at Ferndale on Friday.
Karina Zumbrun continued her impressive streak, netting her third hat trick in four games, and her fifth on the season.
The standout senior midfielder now has 10 goals in her past four games.
Zakiya Elloway-Wonenberg and Tildy Macdonald each also scored in the win, as the Tigers took control of a close contest with three unanswered second-half goals.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 6-3-1 in the H-DNL.
On Saturday, McKinleyville defeated Del Norte, 3-1 at Mack High.
Sophomore Mackenzie Bray scored twice in the win, and Grace Rosebrook scored once, as the Panthers improved to 6-3-1 in league play.
Hadley Ward, Katelyn Murphy and Olivia Alexander each had an assist.