It was a busy day of action for the Humboldt-Del Norte League in the North Coast Section soccer playoffs on Saturday with eight local teams involved.
In boys action, Fortuna defeated Oakland Military Institute and Del Norte got the better of Gateway, while Arcata fell on the road at International,
In girls action, Eureka, Fortuna, Arcata and St. Bernard’s all won, while McKinleyville lost on the road at Middletown.
The H-DNL will now make up three of the final four in the girls Division-I bracket.
Fortuna 3, Oakland Military Institute 1
Aaron Mignon scored a goal in each half to lead the way for the Huskies, who advanced to play at No. 2 seed Fort Bragg on Wednesday.
Fernando Atilano also scored on a breakaway goal in the second half for the No. 3 seed Huskies.
“Overall, we showed a little grit to pull out the win,” Fortuna head coach Danial Holmes said. “We dug deep.”
The Huskies had to battle injuries to a handful of players during the game, as well as coming out a little flat after a first-round bye.
“We had sat for a week and it showed,” Holmes said. “Almost like we needed a game on Wednesday.”
The good news if there are no more byes for the Huskies, who advanced to another NCS semifinal.
Fort Bragg defeated Cloverdale 1-0.
Arcata 1, International 2
The Tigers traveled to San Francisco to play International at Kezar Stadium, losing a close one to the top seed in the Division-I bracket.
Arcata trailed by two at halftime before Jack Taylor scored on a good individual effort to pull his team back within reach in the second half.
“We had opportunities at the very end, they just didn’t go in,” Arcata head coach Ty Watkins. “We fought real hard.”
The loss ends the season for the Tigers, who defeated Willits 2-0 earlier this week to open NCS play.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” Watkins said. “Coming into the season and not knowing what to expect, we got every ounce of potential out of this team.”
The top seeds advance to play Del Norte in the semifinal on Wednesday after the No. 5 Warriors defeated No. 4 Gateway in a shootout.
Cloverdale 0, Eureka 2
Olivia Stone scored a goal in either half to lead the No. 1 seed Eureka girls past No. 8 Cloverdale at Albee Stadium.
The win sets up a semifinal matchup with Middletown at Eureka High on Wednesday.
And it keeps the Loggers perfect on the season, as they improved to 17-0.
Head coach Andy Salatnay switched things up from the outset with a different lineup, in order to give some of his younger players some valuable playoff experience and as a way to better prepare his more experienced players for the bigger tests ahead.
“They stepped up to the plate and definitely rose to the occasion,” the head coach said. “I felt they all did amazing.”
The switch was also to test his veteran players, whom the coach feels have become accustomed to winning games easily, and an attempt to challenge them.
“It was a learning experience for the girls that played those first 20 minutes, and also our veterans, who had to settle down to get the win in a way they’re not used to,” Salatnay said.
Grace Plessinger assisted on both of Eureka’s goals.
Lower Lake 2, Fortuna 7
The Huskies took an early lead and never really looked in danger of losing this one, as they set up a rematch with Arcata in Wednesday’s semifinal.
Freshman Kallia Yang finished with a hat trick to lead the Huskies, who also got goals from Nyah Cacren, Sarah Hohman, Casandra Cortes and Briana Rimney.
“I was real pleased with the way they played,” Fortuna head coach Kevin O’Neil.
Cacren was particularly impressive in center midfield, where the sophomore has established herself as one of the most consistent performers in the H-DNL, while Darly Diaz turned in a strong performance out wide.
In defense, center backs Lauren Tindall and Lorelei Lorang led another solid disciplined performance.
Both teams played whistle to whistle,” O’Neil said. “Lower Lake never gave up.”
McKinleyville 1, Middletown 3
The Panthers fell on the road at Middletown on Saturday afternoon, bowing out of the playoffs after an impressive campaign for the program.
Rayn Tripp scored the only goal for the McKinleyville girls.
In Division-III action, St. Bernard’s defeated Credo 5-1 at home.