The Fortuna boys took a major step toward another league title on Wednesday, coming away from Del Norte with a 2-1 win.
With the win, the visitors improved to 11-0 in the Humboldt-Del Norte League, two games ahead of Del Norte (8-1-2) in second.
In other boys games on Wednesday, Arcata defeated South Fork 5-2 thanks to a big performance from Arthur Frye, while Eureka defeated McKinleyville 3-1.
In girls action, Eureka moved within touching distance of their second straight league title with a 6-0 win over McKinleyville, while Fortuna beat Del Norte 3-0.
Also in girls action, Arcata got the better of South Fork 9-1, with senior captain Karina Zumbrun netting her sixth hat trick of the season.
Fortuna 2, Del Norte 1
The Huskies took advantage of another strong defensive effort and scored a goal in either half on the way to the big win.
Fernando and Luis Atilano each scored a goal for Fortuna, the latter on a second-half free kick.
But it was in defense and midfield where the game was won, with center backs Jackson Fairbanks and Kevin Noel directing play and turning in another strong performance.
“We built out of the back a little better, and we had a better game in midfield,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes said.
Del Norte scored its goal on a penalty kick late in the game.
“They played well,” Holmes said of the home team. “They’ve definitely improved. They’re a lot more organized and it showed.”
Del Norte is the only team that can stop the Huskies from continuing their recent dominance in the H-DNL, but will need a minor miracle at this stage.
One win for the Huskies in their final three games, or a Del Norte loss in any of theirs, will guarantee the title for Fortuna.
They can clinch at least a share of the championship at home to McKinleyville on Saturday.
Fortuna and Del Norte meet again in the league finale in 10 days.
Eureka 3, McKinleyville 1
Senior captain Skylar Carroll turned in a player of the match performance in goal on Wednesday to repeatedly deny the Panthers and lead Eureka to the win at Albee Stadium.
“He’s an absolutely phenomenal player,” McKinleyville head coach Ryne Deppe said of Carroll. “I wouldn’t put it past him to be the MVP of the league this year.”
Up front for the Loggers, Luis Romero scored a goal in each half and Ian Bennett added another, as the Loggers won a key battle for third place in the league standings, improving to 6-4-1 in the H-DNL.
With the loss, McKinleyville dropped to fourth at 5-5-1.
“It was a disappointing game,” Deppe said. “We definitely could have won it. We played well enough to win.”
A lack of shooting, however, proved costly for the visitors.
“In the first half, we wanted that perfect open opportunity and sometimes it’s just not there,” Deppe said. “We didn’t take enough shots, especially in the first half.”
Richie Carpenter got the lone goal for Mack early in the second half.
Carpenter, along with fellow senior captains Alex Freitas and Jair Gonzalez each turned in strong performances for the Panthers, as did Jackson Sandell up front.
“He worked real hard today,” Deppe said of Sandell.
For Eureka, sophomore Micah Duncan worked well down the right wing to set up the third goal.
And head coach Alex Skweir was more than happy with the overall team effort.
“Extremely happy to get the win,” Skweir said. “I thought our guys played fantastic today.
“Everybody bought into the system we’ve been working on all season, and it really paid off today.”
At the back, junior sweeper Grant Barrera anchored a strong defensive effort from the home team.
“He saved our bacon quite a lot today,” Skweir said of Barrera.
As did Carroll.
“He had some fantastic saves for us today,” the head coach said of his senior goalie.
Arcata 5, South Fork 2
Arthur Frye stepped up to lead the Tigers to a comfortable three-goal win in Miranda.
The Arcata striker scored four times in the victory.
“He started opening up on diagonal runs and calling for the ball,” Arcata head coach Ty Watkins said of Frye. “And he put it in the net when he had the opportunities.”
Dylan Earle-Rouse scored the other goal for Arcata, which turned in a solid all-around performance.
“We played real well,” Watkins said. “We played smart soccer.”
Fortuna 3, Del Norte 0
The Fortuna Huskies solidified their grip on second in the H-DNL standings with a 3-0 win at Del Norte on Wednesday.
The Huskies started slow, before slowing taking control, scoring twice in the second half to pull away.
And Fortuna got a couple of standout performances from a pair of young stars, sophomore Sarah Killfoil and freshman Sophia Villalvazo.
Killfoil netted twice in the win, once on a penalty kick, and once from an assist by Villalvazo.
The freshman was moved up front in the second half to try and provide a spark to a static offense.
“We moved her up front to give us some extra energy and she did,” Fortuna head coach Kevin O’Neil said.
Another sophomore, Sarah Hohman, also had a big game, netting the other goal.
“We came out pretty flat,” O’Neil said. “But we played much better in the second half.”
With the win, the Huskies improved to 8-2-1 in league and 9-3-1 overall.
Arcata 9, South Fork 1
Karina Zumbrun has been on fire lately and continued her hot streak with another that trick in Wednesday’s win.
Zumbrun now has four hat tricks in her past five games and six on the year.
Zakiya Elloway-Wonenberg added two goals in the win, while Annie Macdonald, Sophia Belton, Maia Perry and Tildy Macdonald each also scored.
The Tigers improved to 7-3-1 in league, and 9-5-1 overall.