It might still be early in the season, but the Arcata Tigers posted a crucial victory on Saturday, winning 2-1 against a Fortuna team that could be their biggest challengers for the Big 5 title this year.
Both teams canceled each other out in the opening half, with all three goals coming in the second half.
Kyla Berman and Zoe Macknicki each scored for the Tigers, who improved to 2-0, with Alia Prentiss adding an assist.
A number of players stood out on a veteran Arcata team, including the three Macdonald sisters — seniors Tildy and Annie and sophomore Soquel.
Up front, Berman continues to play at a high level and has been one of the most dangerous strikers on the North Coast the past two seasons, with Prentiss also continuing to cause problems for opposing defenses.
Kadence Ferguson scored Fortuna’s goal from the penalty spot.
“The girls, they worked so hard as a team today holding Arcata back,” Fortuna head coach Bekah Brooks said. “They all played well and never gave up.
“I think today was a good experience for the girls to see what they’re up against.”
Eureka 3, Del Norte 0
Lila Ekholdt scored twice and assisted on another goal, as the Loggers got their first league win of the season.
The standout sophomore is coming off a stellar freshman campaign in the spring, and continues to play well beyond her years as one of the chief driving forces for the Eureka girls.
“She’s cool, calm and composed with the ball at her feet,” Eureka head coach Tommy Learmouth said.
Two other sophomores also continue to play well for a young Loggers team, including midfielder Ella Tollefson, who also scored, and defender Maia Hales.
“Our sophomores are helping to drive the team forward,” the head coach said.
Paige Rodgers also had a good game at wing back, as Learmouth used the occasion to play a lot of his younger players, who didn’t disappoint.
“They looked good,” the head coach said. “We’re coming together. They’re putting in the time, putting in the work.
“I could name 16 players that all played well today.”
Despite the loss, the Warriors had plenty to feel happy about after playing Eureka a lot closer than in recent times.
“The girls once again played tough and fought to the end,” Del Norte coach Jeff Cook said. “We are still working on our positioning , building on our strengths and working on our weaknesses.”
Alissa Roach had a big game in goal for Del Norte and was key in keeping a dangerous Eureka front line in check for much of the game.