By Ray Hamill — There were five games on tap in H-DNL soccer on Saturday, with big wins for the Eureka girls and Arcata boys.
The two schools faced off in an exciting doubleheader at Arcata High, with the Loggers taking the girls clash 2-0 and the Tigers coming from behind to win the boys game 3-2.
In other games, the Fortuna boys and girls both won at South Fork to remain unbeaten in league play, while the St. Bernard’s girls scored three goals in eight minutes to overcome an early two-goal deficit and win 3-2 at Del Norte.
The St. Bernard’s and Del Norte boys game was postponed.
For more on the Eureka girls’ big win, see Eureka girls edge Arcata in key showdown …
Fortuna 8, South Fork 1
The defending section champions proved too much to handle for the Cubs, who gave up the opening goal inside two minutes and never recovered.
RJ Rexford scored three goals in the win to lead a short-handed Fortuna team that was missing several players for personal reasons.
The in-form Geovaney Ramirez also netted in the win as the Huskies improved to 3-0 in league play and 8-0 overall.
“They scored in the first two minutes on our mistake and we deflated right there,” South Fork head coach Kelly Paine said. “And I think it kind of set the tone for the first half.”
Jayden Paine scored the Cubs’ only goal.
Afterwards, Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes had nothing but praise for the South Fork program, which has been competitive against the larger schools this season.
“They’re looking better every time I go down there,” Holmes said. “They’re doing the right things.”
Eureka 2, Arcata 3
The Arcata Tigers overcame a 2-1 second-half deficit with a pair of unanswered goals, getting the winning strike just 10 minutes from time.
Arthur Frye, Jack Taylor and Travis Naman each scored in the win, as the Tigers improved to 2-1 in league play.
“It was a close one,” Eureka head coach Eddie Garcia said. “We played against a good Arcata team, and to be honest we felt a little unlucky not to get a better result.”
The Loggers got goals from Micah Duncan and Luis Romero, the latter off an assist by Kai Gallegos.
“Today it was really a group effort,” said Garcia, whose team is now 2-1 in league play. “The boys left it all out on the field.”
Fortuna 4, South Fork 2
Sarah Killfoil scored a pair of penalty kicks as the Huskies fought off a gutsy South Fork team to go to 2-0 in league play.
Sophia Villalvazo and freshman Lluvia Matias each also scored in the win, as the visiting Fortuna girls opened up a 3-1 halftime lead, overcoming an early deficit.
The South Fork girls turned in one of their best performances of the season, frustrating the visitors with their first-half defense.
“We didn’t adjust well to that until the second half,” said Fortuna head coach Kathleen Lynch, who was missing a few starters. “And I was definitely pleased with quite a few players stepping into some different roles today.”
Erica Carillo continued to impress for the Huskies with another strong game in defense, where she has developed into one of Fortuna’s most reliable players.
“She’s one of those kids who’s just been a constant for us,” Lynch said of the junior. “She’s so reliable you almost take her for granted.”
Summer Conteras scored both of the Cubs’ goals, giving her nine on the season.
She continued to get some great service, with the ever-reliable Marian Del Rio assisting on one of her goals and Alahni Christianson on the other, both off set pieces.
“It was definitely our best game of the year against a big school,” South Fork head coach Ann Constantino said.
South Fork goalkeeper Lyndsee Brewer continued her impressive season with another strong effort between the posts, finishing with nine saves.
St. Bernard’s 3, Del Norte 2
The Crusaders overcame an early two-goal deficit with three unanswered goals in an eight-minute spell late in the first half at Crescent City.
And it was the seniors who took care of business.
Marayah Tomlinson got things started for the visitors with another brilliant long-range free kick, similar to a goal she scored the last time the Crusaders visited Del Norte.
Fellow senior Mackenzie Finck added a second goal just a few minutes later, scoring off an assist by teammate Alondra Amador.
Amador closed out the scoring just four minutes later, after a Tomlinson shot took a deflection into her path.
Afterwards assistant coach Phil Rouse praised the play of his elder statesmen, especially after the early setback.
I think our seniors stepped up,” Rouse said of Tomlinson, Finck and Shelby Jordan. “They calmed the team down.”
Ema Brenes also had an outstanding game at sweeper for the Crusaders.
“She made some good decisions, she made some great tackles,” Rouse said. “She just had a flawless game.”
Rachel Rodrigues played in goal for the second half and posted five saves for St. Bernard’s.