Arcata girls fall to Middletown in NCS decider


Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — The bounce of the ball just didn’t go the Tigers’ way on Saturday, as visiting Middletown came away from Arcata with a 1-0 win in the North Coast Section Division-I girls soccer championship game.

The Mustangs scored the only goal of the game eight minutes into the second half, and held on after that despite wave after wave of Arcata offense over the final quarter of the game.

“We did have several opportunities, we just couldn’t capitalize,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “The final touch wasn’t there for us today.”

The loss comes just three days after an emotional overtime win in a thrilling showdown against league rivals Eureka.


“I think the moment got to us a little bit,” Stranahan said.

It was the second straight season the Arcata girls lost in the NCS championship game.

The win was the second for the Mustangs over H-DNL opposition this week, having also knocked off Fortuna on Wednesday.

Both of those wins came on the road against higher seeds.


With the loss, the Tigers close out the season with a record of 13-4.

“This group all year has played as a group,” Stranahan said. “They were a true team and I’m proud of everything they accomplished.”

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  1. Middletown High School is a small public high school located in Middletown, California, United States. It is the only comprehensive high school in the Middletown Unified School District. Wikipedia
    Number of students: 478 (2016–2017)
    Mascot: Mustangs
    Principal: Bill Roderick
    District: Middletown Unified School District
    Founded: 1919
    Enrollment: 478 (2016-17)
    Colors: Purple, Gold

    “The Little Engine That Could”…

    Apparently, school size didn’t matter… great for the game!

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