By Ray Hamill — The Arcata girls are going to get another shot at Fortuna.
The two league rivals both advanced in the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division-I soccer playoffs on Saturday, and will now meet in the semifinal at Fortuna on Wednesday night.
The Huskies got the better of Lower Lake 7-2 in their quarterfinal at Fortuna High, while the Tigers comfortably dispatched of Roseland Prep, 6-1 at McKinleyville High.
The semifinal will be the fifth meeting between the two Humboldt-Del Norte League rivals this season, with the Huskies winning all four previous games.
That, however, won’t mean anything when they meet again in the do-or-die clash, with the winner likely to face No. 1 seed Eureka in the championship game next weekend, provided the Loggers can get past Middletown in the other semifinal.
Another hat trick for Zumbrun
Karina Zumbrun was outstanding again for the Tigers, netting yet another hat trick in the win.
The senior co-captain has been one of the chief driving forces for the Tigers all season, and proved to be once again on Saturday.
Zakiya Elloway-Woneberg also had a big game, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists, while Audrey Shelton rounded out the scoring.
“The girls were on their game tonight,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “I was real happy with the way they were moving the ball around.”
The Tigers certainly turned in a cohesive team performance and never looked in any danger of losing this one.
They scored three times in each half, with Zumbrun completing her hat trick with six minutes to go on a brilliant individual effort that saw her wind her way past several defenders before scoring (see video).
Elloway-Wonenberg and Shelton each added a late goal, as the home team pulled away at the end for a more flattering result.
Controlled midfield performance
Despite being held scoreless for much of the second half, this was a game the Tigers dominated, with a controlled midfield performance setting the relentless attack in motion.
The visitors, to their credit, turned in a disciplined defensive performance to hold the potent Arcata in check for long spells, tidying up much of what came their way.
At the back for Arcata, the center pairing of Gywn Stratton and Zoe Leonard anchored a solid defensive performance, as they have for much of the season.
Zumbrun and her center midfield partner Nina Crossen, the team’s two senior co-captains, were as consistent as ever, while senior Maygan Graves also turned in a strong performance, constantly causing the visitors problems down the left flank.
Elloway-Wonenberg has developed into a dynamic threat up front for Arcata, and that was the case once again on Saturday, taking her late opportunity with precision and composure.
Shelton also had a strong game in attack, as did Bella Garrett and Sarah Jensen down the right wing.
Sophomore Sophia Salinas also kept the visiting defense on its toes.
“They were consistent from whistle to whistle,” Stranahan said of his players.