Eureka girls closing in on perfect season in H-DNL soccer


Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Arcata’s Nina Crossen (9) tries to take possession away from Eureka’s Hannah Taylor during Wednesday’s game.

By Ray Hamill — The Loggers inched closer to a perfect regular season with a 4-0 win over visiting Arcata at Albee Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Eureka girls have dominated North Coast opposition all season, rolling to a 13-0 record and a second straight league crown.

But they had to work a little harder for this one, against an Arcata team that has been steadily improving.

“Big kudos to Arcata,” Eureka head coach Andy Salatnay said afterwards. “They were definitely improved from the first time we played them. They definitely brought the intensity in the second half, and they made us work hard.”


Arcata has the midfielders to match up with the league champs, with Nina Crossen and Karina Zumbrun arguably the two best central players Eureka will play all season.

In the end, however, the Loggers had too much for the visitors, and after opening up a quick 2-0 lead less than five minutes in, they were never in danger of losing this one.

Olivia Stone scored three of the Loggers’ goals, including one from a penalty kick and another set up after a nice move from Klayre Barres.

Aquena Tolfeson added the final goal late in the game on a wonderful strike from well outside the penalty area.


Arcata’s Zoe Leonard

Spectacular saves

The Loggers’ defense continued to hold their opponents in check with another composed performance in front of goalkeeper Sadie Wilkinson.

The central defender partnership of Grace Plessinger and Keylei Carroll has been outstanding all season, posting a 12th shutout in 13 games alongside outside backs Rebecca Russ and Madie Evansizer.

At the opposite end of the field, Arcata goalie Skaidra Pulley made several spectacular saves to keep her team in contention.

“She’s been consistent for us, but today she stepped up a couple of levels and played amazing,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said of Pulley, who had 16 saves. “The whole team was lifted by her performance.”


In front of her, the Arcata back line was a busy unit but kept a dangerous Eureka attack in check for large periods of time, giving up just two goals over the final 75 minutes.

Outside back Bella Garrett, in particular, made some key tackles, while Zoe Leonard, Gwyn Stratton and Sarah Jensen all impressed.

438A3984“The girls put togethers a stellar second half in my opinion,” Stranahan said. “It was a group effort out there.”

The Loggers have one more regular season game at McKinleyville on Saturday before turning their attention toward next week’s Humboldt-Del Norte League Tournament and the North Coast Section playoffs after that.

And a dominant squad appears to be growing stronger.

“I would say we are,” Salatnay said. “We are more consistent with our passing.”

After the game Stranahan paid credit to the Loggers.

“Eureka played well,” he said. “They’re in first place for a reason.”

Arcata will close out the regular season at home to South Fork on Saturday, and could see a rematch against the Loggers in next week’s league tournament. 

11 replies »

  1. Hey RH, a story on how high school soccer imploded at the section level would be informative.


    Because NCS schools outside of Humboldt and Mendocino are way better programs, higher levels of competition, and way better athletes.

    So, to kill two birds with one stone, realignment was done to displace the north coast from all else.

    It is why HDNL is now able to play lesser competition to become a champion.

    Still remember a game years ago in Santa Rosa between a really really great team and a really really terrible team with a losing record in a championship match, all because Educators have these feel good reasons as to why losers should be celebrated… and let’s face it any team with a losing record in a championship game represents a setup by Educators and education’s enablers… rewarding poor performance is like passing a failing student or some PC culture that uplifts in order to keep the stupid and undeserving involved.

    It was such a let-down of a match too, frankly was disrespected by assignors in even reffing the match… it represented everything that’s wrong with high school soccer…futbol.

    • Nice theory.
      The real reason is the whole state except a few teams in northwestern California and some coed teams (yes, really) up in the mountains switched to winter soccer.
      Southern California and much of the Bay Area has been doing this for years.
      So if you want to pony-up a few million for turf fields and lights then we can switch to playing winter high school soccer as well.

      • Facts are stubborn because back in the day there was more professionalism with soccer as a high school program… as players we would go to local businesses and ask for advertisement donations so that we could put together a league brochure if you will that was a sort of magazine that had every team the roster picks their names the businesses that donated with their business card size quarter-page half-page or full page ad plus other information from the North Coast section the previous year’s playoffs the results and so forth had so much but you don’t see that these days do you because the people in the school districts that work for the schools as adults who put their grubby little fingers into the Youth Sports… they just fuck shit up…

      • April 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        Henchman Of Justice

        That’s just silly to believe that younger folks don’t want on-air coverage….. But agreed that it is a generational thing but….. It’s a generational kin thing……

        And certainly kmud and any of the other local radio stations could put personalities on who are varied and wide-ranging such as anybody who’s ever ran for a political office in Humboldt County that’s never been on the air radio before……

        Then of course there’s leaders of FFA and 4-H and other Civic organizations that have nothing to do with politics which would be a fresh of breath air……

        And let’s not forget those other folks in the community who deal with organizational structures in the community having to do with the public infrastructure or public services like Athletics….. Surely there’s enough folks out there involved in athletics who could rip a shitstorm about the local school districts and how the cities operate their sports leagues…..

        Then of course there’s those people who may be challenged in the community but also are part of organizations that they represent like Special Olympics or other activities for folks with special needs…..

        Or folks are interested in skateboard parks or swimming pools God knows we got enough trails……

        And how about some fishermen and some crabbers and even just a grunt worker on a construction job site…..

        Or healthcare worker or homemaker…..

        Anything would be better than the same old pieces of shit over the air less a few goodies for whom the community could use more of…..

        It’s a rough business for the radio, but if they want good representation they need to have better and more controversial personalities….. That’s what folks beg for.

        Sohum Parlance

        Note: Thanks to the mountain tops to RH for the additional local youth coverage!

  2. It could have been the,

    “not good enough movement”.

    Last year, the championship match between Fortuna and Eureka was ugly…the girlfriend said they looked like grade school players…no skills…to which the reply was…at least its even competetively… and that’s the Crux of the matter RH it’s the fact that the Educators didn’t want Northcoast student-athletes to feel like losers so they just put them into a less competitive situation so that they feel like they’re better and the way to do it was to separate them from the rest of the fish in the fish bowl because the other fish will eat them alive…

  3. And it last year’s championship match during the shootout the penalty kicks to determine who is going to win the championship… errors were made that were crucial to the outcome of the shootout… and the thing is last year Eureka was the better team but the coach didn’t know how to coach.

  4. 1000 bucks says EHS loggerettes lose to Analy Santa Rosa Urseline Casa Grande, etc…praising local is pathetic now in soccer come playoffs…low level playoff competition is preseason stuff…makes for repeat episodes of boredom… so now the key is to totally avoid all soccer until playoffs that way you won’t be biased or prejudiced against the teams that are matched up against each other already having witnessed them play out the scenarios previously in earlier seasonal matchups…boring…

  5. The best thing about soccer in Humboldt and Mendocino counties quite frankly is now the coverage by RH which for years people clamored why is there no coverage… coverage will help elevate the skill level of soccer but it’ll take some time…

  6. #13 in white above (pic)

    So it’s not a video can’t see what happened but will offer this…

    As the player with the ball in her possession she needs to understand to go down to the turf in that situation for free kick because the defender has her foot and lower portion of her leg in between and through number 13’s legs…from behind no less… if you feel it and you know that leg is from behind going through your own legs you go down get the foul called and that helps keep the defender off of you the rest of the match.

    As a ref, it’s an easy call if the player with possession is adversely affected… it’s dangerous play regardless of whether there’s body contact or not…

  7. Stabbing at the ball from behind can rupture an Achilles tendon of the player in possession of the ball…

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