The Fortuna girls set up a rematch with league champions Eureka in the Humboldt-Del Norte League Tournament this weekend, after a 3-1 win at home to Arcata in Thursday’s semifinal.
The No. 2 seed Huskies will now travel to No. 1 Eureka on Saturday for the championship game, hoping to become the first team to knock off the high-flying Loggers, who are unbeaten this season.
The Huskies took the lead in the opening half of Thursday’s game on a Sarah Killfoil penalty kick after she had been taken down in the box, with Nyah Cacren and Kallia Yang each scoring in the second half to give the home team a 3-0 lead.
“Fortuna fought hard,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “The penalty kick in the first half took the wind out of our sails.”
Sophomore defender Aubrie Hall led an energetic display from the home side and was instrumental in the victory.
“It was probably the best game she’s ever played,” Fortuna head coach Kevin O’Neil said of Hall. “She played with lots of hustle and lots of energy. She made a big difference.”
It was the fourth time the Huskies have defeated the Tigers in four matchups this season.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” O’Neil said. “I was happy with how they played.”
With the loss, Arcata must now wait on the North Coast Section seedings meeting on Sunday to find their playoff opponent and when they’ll play next.
Despite the loss, it was a solid performance from the Tigers.
“Arcata’s got a good team that never quit,” O’Neil said. “They challenged us from start to finish.”
Stranahan echoed the sentiment, also complimenting his players on their effort.
“The girls did not give up at all,” the Arcata coach said. “They played whistle to whistle with some of the best intensity I’ve seen from them.”
Saturday’s tournament championship game at Albee Stadium is tentatively set for 11 a.m.
Arcata 2, Del Norte 3, OT
The one team to seriously cause the league champions trouble this year will now get a rematch with them in the H-DNL tournament on Thursday.
The No. 2 seed Del Norte boys defeated No. 3 Arcata with a goal early in overtime to set up the meeting with No. 1 Fortuna in the championship game on Saturday.
The Huskies are unbeaten in 14 league games this season, with Del Norte the only side to get any result from them with a 2-2 tie last weekend.
“They’ve got a good team this year,” Arcata head coach Ty Watkins said of the Warriors. “They’re playing real soccer.”
Marcus Benson had a good day in goal for Arcata, keeping his team in the game.
Arthur Frye got the opening goal for Arcata early in the first half, and the Tigers didn’t score again until the final minute of the game on a Del Norte own goal to force overtime.