By Ray Hamill — The defending league champs got the H-DNL boys soccer season off to a flying start on Wednesday evening, battling from behind to win 4-1 against Arcata at McKinleyville High.
Sergio Marquez netted twice, with additional goals from Edgar Herrera and Antonio Garcinuno, as the Huskies’s experience showed against a young Arcata team.
However, head coach Daniel Holmes, who has led the Fortuna boys to seven straight league titles, says there is plenty of room for improvement despite the fast start.
“It definitely showed that we haven’t touched the ball in a while,” he said. “And that’s alright. We’ve got some things we could work on.”
Arcata took the lead 15 minutes in when Lucien Steinkamp lobbed the keeper after the ball fell to him from a Miles Kramer free kick.
The Huskies, however, responded like the experienced team they are, with three goals before halftime.
“Going down 1-0 was definitely a wake-up call,” Holmes said. “Possession was good for us, we linked up in places. But we have work to do on our timing up front.
“We got a lot of kids some time on the pitch, which was a nice thing, but definitely we’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
For a young Tigers team that features just three seniors, the loss will be a learning experience.
“We battled hard,” Arcata head coach John Davidson said. “There were some bright moments.”
Holmes paid tribute to the Tigers for an improved second half, with Kramer instrumental in their play in center midfield, as well as some big stops in goal from sophomore Sean Shermer.
The Tigers will be tested again at Del Norte on Saturday, after the Warriors defeated Eureka 3-1 on opening day.
“The fun doesn’t stop,” Davidson said.
Fortuna will host South Fork on Saturday.