Del Norte

Young players step up as Panthers top the Warriors


File photo – Kathryn Tinney

Playing without two of their top players, the McKinleyville girls got big contributions from several youngsters in a 3-0 win over Del Norte in H-DNL soccer on Monday.

Sophomore captain Soffia Reyes was instrumental for the Panthers once again, scoring all three goals for her second hat trick in just three days, after also netting three times against South Fork on Saturday.

Reyes scored two early goals as the Panthers led 2-0 within five minutes to take control of the game.

Alongside her in midfield Kathryn Tinney also had a big game distributing the ball.

“Soffia and Kat, they just kind of controlled the game and kind of absorbed everything that came through midfield,” Mack head coach Adam Canepa said. 

With standouts Mackenzie Bray and Thea Trout unavailable for the game, the Panthers had just 11 players on hand and started five freshmen.

One of them, Elizabeth Mengel, assisted on one of Reyes’ goals, as did senior Olivia Rink, who is also enjoying a big season.

“We had a very youthful team, and a lot of people stepping up to fill positions they don’t usually play,” Canepa said “Props to our defense. (Del Norte) didn’t have a whole lot of scoring opportunities.”

For the Warriors, who were a little banged up themselves, Alyssa McCovey and Chaney Schaad led a good defensive performance 

“Defensively we played better in the second half,” head coach Jeff Cook said.

The Warriors play Arcata on Wednesday before closing out their season and a busy week against Ferndale on Thursday.

The Panthers play at Ferndale on Wednesday.

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