Saturday’s H-DNL finale in girls soccer should be fun.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Arcata Tigers put a slow start behind them with six unanswered goals in the second half on the way to their sixth straight win, 7-1 over Del Norte.
The last team to beat them was Eureka back in week two of the season, and the two heavyweights of the H-DNL will face off again in the final game of the campaign on Saturday morning in Eureka.
“It’s a big game,” Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “Arcata, Eureka always brings thrills.”
The Loggers did not play on Wednesday, with St. Bernard’s forfeiting.
They are 7-0 in games played this year, while the Tigers are now 7-2 after Wednesday’s win,
“The first half was terrible,” Stranahan said. “We came out really slow and we just weren’t there. So we had a bit of a discussion at halftime and made some adjustments, and in the second half they played the way they could play.”
Tildy Macdonald was once again instrumental in the win, scoring one goal and assisting on another and continuing to cause her opponents trouble in midfield.
Her twin sister Anneli Macdonald also had a goal and an assist, as did Kayla Berman, who has been one of the H-DNL’s most consistent scoring threats all season.
Alia Prentiss also had a big game, finishing with two goals, while Sophia Pulley added a goal and an assist.
“It was a good team effort all across the board,” Stranahan said.
Grace Townsend rounded out the scoring, while Zoe Macknicki also had an assist.
Jadence Clifton scored the only goal for a busy Del Norte team, which was playing a third game in just five days.
“We ran out of gas in the second half,” head coach Jeff Cook said.
Maykala Jackson also had a good game for the Warriors, who close out their season with a fourth game in six days at home to Ferndale on Thursday.
McKinleyville 3, Ferndale 1
Leah Circe scored her first-ever high school goal in Wednesday’s win, but it was her second that she’ll likely remember for a long time.
“An awesome, excellent goal,” McKinleyville head coach Adam Canepa said of the freshman’s second goal, which gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
Thea Trout assisted on the spectacular strike, crossing to Circe, who controlled the ball, chipped it off the ground and volleyed home in one smooth move.
“It was phenomenal,” Canepa said.
Trout assisted on both of Circe’s goals and also scored off an assist from Elizabeth Mengel, another freshman who has been playing well for the Panthers recently.
“I thought we played really composed and smart and allowed the ball do the work,” said Canepa, whose team is now 6-3 with one game remaining.
Miriam Munoz-Guerrero scored Ferndale’s only goal, with an assist from Reaghan Langer.
“I was impressed with my girls,” Ferndale head coach Beth Anderson said. “As always, they gave 100 percent and left everything on the field.”
The Cats, who have played Mack close twice this season, closed out the game the stronger of the two teams.
“We settled down,” Anderson said. “We strung some passes together and we had some scoring opportunities, but our finishing just wasn’t there today.”
Hallie Short and Malela Fulton each played well in center midfield for the Wildcats, who are now 3-5, while team’s defense once again held its own most of the game.
Freshman Regan Russ anchored the unit and had “one of her best games of the year,” according to her coach, while also attracting the praise of the McKinleyville coaches.
For McKinleyville, freshman Lacie Rink had a good day man-marking the ever-dangerous Langer.
“Lacie did a great job,” Canepa said. “She didn’t allow herself to get beat.”
Fortuna 8, South Fork 0
The Huskies bounced back from a rare loss on Saturday to defeat the Cubs on Wednesday evening.
Juniors Kallia Yang and Molly Hernandez led the way and were involved in five of their team’s goals.
Yang finished with a hat trick of goals, while Hernandez scored one and assisted on two and played what head coach Jennifer Femenella described as a “spectacular game.”
“It’s nice after a loss to come out with a win,” Femenella said. “They did well. We had good possession, we had some good ball movement.”
Freshman Taylor Brooks continued to play a pivotal role for the team, scoring twice, while influential senior Sarah Killfoil had a goal and two assists.
Jocelyn Ortega-Miranda rounded out the scoring, while Nyah Cacren added an assist.
With the win, the Huskies improved to 6-2.