The Eureka girls moved within one win of an NCS soccer championship appearance on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at Fortuna in their Division-I playoff opener.
Many of the Eureka players were making their playoff debuts and it took the team a little while to get going, but once they warmed to the occasion they ran out comfortable winners.
“In the first part of the game we were a little shaky. I think it was nerves,” head coach Tommy Learmouth said. “But once we settled into the game, we really had Fortuna pinned back a lot.”
Kaitlin Giacone and Angelina Conant each scored in the first half to give Eureka a two-goal advantage at the break, as several of the team’s younger players rose to the occasion.
Lorena Hernandez added a second half goal to round out the scoring and was a consistent threat up front for the visitors.
Lila Ekholdt also continued to impress in the win, as did fellow sophomores Ella Tollefson in midfield and Maia Hales in defense.
All three standouts have been consistent contributors on the team all season.
Conant also had a good game in midfield as she continues to establish herself as a key member of the lineup.
“We played well,” Learmouth said. “The field conditions were rough, but they fought through it and played well.”
Tollefson and Ginny Brooks each had an assist, while Claire Maples recorded the clean sheet in goal.
Next up, the Loggers will play either Middletown or Roseland Prep in Wednesday’s semifinal round.
A win could set up a championship rematch with Big 5 rival Arcata, which is the No. 1 seed and will play Credo in the other semifinal.