Lila Ekholdt broke the deadlock five minutes from time in what was another hard-fought and close encounter between the Eureka and McKinleyville girls at Albee Stadium on Saturday, with the Loggers sneaking a 1-0 win.
“It was a great game,” said McKinleyville head coach Adam Canepa, whose team tied the Loggers in their conference opener two weeks ago. “Both teams played really hard.”
The win was the third straight for the Loggers, who continue to play well defensively and have allowed just three goals in six games this season.
Goalkeeper Claire Maples has played a big part in that, with three shutouts to her credit, including Saturday’s, which could have been her most impressive yet.
“It was the best game that she has played in terms of her confidence and stepping to the ball and cutting angles,” Eureka head coach Tommy Learmouth said of the shot stopper. “Our defense played extremely well.”
So too did Ekholdt, Jordan Brown and Ella Tollefson, who set the tone and dominated play at times in the middle of the field.
“We dominated possession,” Learmouth said. “We just hit the woodwork probably 10 times. We just couldn’t finish any shots.”
Eureka’s Kaitlin GIacone also had a good game out on the wing as she continues to grow as a player, as did forward Lorena Hernandez, who was “big time today,” according to her coach.
For McKinleyville, in-form junior Cora Allen continued to impress, as did fellow defender Lacie Rink and midfielder Kathryn Tinney, while up front Soffia Reyes and Thea Trout were a handful for the Eureka defense, as always.
Matching Maples at the far end of the field, Mack goalkeeper Caitlin Canepa also had a strong outing between the posts, keeping her team in the game.
Afterwards, Adam Canepa praised the Loggers for their sportsmanship when one of the Mack players was injured and the Eureka players put the ball out of play to allow her get attention instead of taking advantage of an obvious scoring opportunity.
“All credit to Eureka for playing hard to the end,” the Mack coach said.
With the win, the Loggers improved to 3-0-2 in the Big 5, while the Panthers dropped to 2-2-1.
Arcata 6, St. Bernard’s 1
The Tigers continued to set the pace in the H-DNL, stretching their unbeaten start to the season to six straight, including five wins.
Kyla Beman and Alia Prentiss each scored twice in the win, while Tildy Macdonald and Zoe Macknicki each also scored, as the Tigers struck three times in each half.
“It was a great team effort today,” head coach Patrick Stranahan said. “The passing scheme is really starting to come together as all the players have bought in. We’re getting stronger every game. I’m proud of the Tigers.”
Macdonald, Macknicki, Prentiss, Sionna Khattab and Gracie Townsend each had an assist in the win.
A dangerous Crusaders team caused the home side plenty of problems early on, with Arcata goalie Seri Welsh denying them on a few occasions with some big stops.
Emma Wilson scored in the first half for the Crusaders, who had a number of opportunities in the opening period, only to be denied by Welsh.
“It could have been 3-3 at the end of the first half,” St. Bernard’s head coach Danny Roscoe said. “I was really proud of the girls. They held their own in the first half.”
In defense, senior sweeper Ema Brenes and sophomore stopper Hannah Finck both played well for the Crusaders, as did junior forward Shaya Robinson.
With the loss, St. Bernard’s is now 1-2 on the season.
Fortuna 5, Del Norte 1
The Huskies returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory at Del Norte on Saturday, ending a two-game losing streak in the Big 5.
Five different players scored in the win, with Chloe Cox opening the scoring in the first half on an assist from Taylor Brooks.
Brooks then added a second goal off an assist from her sister, freshman Raigan Brooks.
The visitors added three more goals in the second half, one each from Jocelyn Ortega-MIranda, Kaydence Ferguson and Sophie Villalvazo.
with the win, the Huskies improved to 2-3 in the Big 5 and 3-3 overall.
Alyssa McCovey scored Del Norte’s only goal off a corner kick.
Ferndale 4, South Fork 2
The Ferndale Wildcats returned to action for the first time in a couple of weeks after dealing with COVID protocols, and it was a successful return in an exciting and evenly-matched Little 3 game.
Sophomore Reaghan Langer scored twice in the win, once in each half, including an unassisted goal midway through the second period, which broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game winner.
Langer also assisted on the other two goals, including Miriam Munoz-Guerrero’s opening goal just five minutes in.
Gabby Riley also had a goal and an assist, netting the final goal 12 minutes from time.
“They all played pretty well,” Ferndale head coach Beth Anderson said. “Every girl showed improvement.”
Clara Christiansen and Regan Russ both played well in defense for the Cats, who are now 1-2 on the season, as did goalie Bella Stephens, who was as reliable as ever between the posts and only allowed one goal from play.
Summer Contreras scored for the Cubs.