By Ray Hamill — The Eureka boys responded to Wednesday’s opening loss to Del Norte with some better finishing on Saturday, on the way to a 2-0 win at McKinleyville in H-DNL boys soccer.
And, according to head coach Eddie Garcia, it was a complete team effort.
“The last time the ball didn’t want to go in. Today we kept with the belief in the system we’re playing and the boys trusted each other,” Garcia said. “Our final product was there today.”
The Loggers dominated midfield possession for much of a back-and-forth game, and ultimately that proved to be the difference.
Eureka got the breakthrough midway through the second half on a penalty kick by Jesus Parra, who slotted home after a hand ball in the penalty area.
Ian Bennett scored the second goal late in the game to secure the win, netting coolly after slipping through the Mack defense on a well-placed pass from Parra.
It was Bennett’s second goal in two games this season.
Overall, it was a good response by the Loggers, who dominated possession in their opener against Del Norte but lost 3-1.
“I was really, really happy with the win and really happy with the effort,” Garcia said. “Everybody played well.”
McKinleyville matched the visitors stride for stride for much of the game, but were not able to create as many clearcut opportunities.
“It was pretty much a fairly even game,” McKinleyville head coach Ryne Deppe said. “Both teams had their momentum swings.”
The Panthers defense was solid under pressure for most of the game, particularly outside back Isaac Ward, who was composed throughout.
“They’re a quality team,” Garcia said of the Panthers, whom the Loggers will face twice again this season. “They’re dangerous, props to them, and that makes this victory even better. We expect that the next time they’ll be better.”
Next up on Wednesday evening, the Loggers play Arcata at McKinleyville, while the Panthers play at Fortuna.