By Ray Hamill — The Arcata boys comfortably took care of business in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division-I soccer playoffs on Wednesday, rolling over Lower Lake 7-0.
Jack Taylor led a balanced performance with a hat trick of goals, while fellow senior Arthur Frye netted twice.
Conor Olson also scored and had two assists, with Adrian York rounding out the scoring.
Overall, it was a solid team effort and a dominating performance for the No. 5 seeds.
“I’m so happy,” said first-year head coach John Davidson. “The combination play was on point, and by combination play I mean specifically third man runs. So they found the second pass at pace.
“We’re finally getting some easy chances.”
With the game over as a contest well before the final whistle, Davidson and assistant coach Tuck Engleman went deep to their bench in the second half, and the players didn’t disappoint.
“That made me the happiest,” Davidson said. “We didn’t lose anything (when we played them), and we played everybody.”
Goalies Marcus Glenn-Bensen and Sean Shermer each played a half and each posted a shutout, despite plenty of pressure from the Trojans late in the game.
Defensively, the Tigers gave little away, with Gabe Sanchez and Merek Clancy anchoring the unit and making smart decisions throughout.
“Defensively, they were organized,” Davidson said.
With the win, the Tigers advance to Saturday’s second round, where they will play either No. 4 Fort Bragg or No. 13 Oakland Military Institute, who play each other on Wednesday night.
If the Tigers play Oakland Military Institute, they will host the game, but if it’s Fort Bragg they will travel.