By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna boys fell just short in their bid for a third straight North Coast Section title in soccer on Saturday night after falling 4-1 to Making Waves Academy in the championship game at Husky Field.
The loss was the first for Fortuna since September 2018 and ended a run of 63 straight games without defeat, 59 of which were wins.
“I was super, super proud of my boys. They played with heart tonight,” head coach Daniel Holmes said. “Sometimes you learn more from losing than from winning and hopefully that will be the case.”
The loss also ends another memorable season for the Huskies, who won an eighth straight league title.
And it’s a season Holmes believes his players should be proud of.
“It was a great season,” he said. “To have the target we had on our backs and to get this far, that says a lot for the boys. I think we got everyone’s best punch this year.”
Senior Antonio Garcinuno closed out a stellar high school career with the Huskies’ only goal of the game in the first half, but they trailed 2-1 at halftime.
The visitors added a third goal 14 minutes into the second half and a fourth 16 minutes later, and after that there was no way back for the home team.
Braiden Barsanti, who has been playing some of the best soccer of his career over the past few weeks, had another good night despite the loss, while Edgar Herrera was strong again in the middle of the field and goalkeeper Alonzo Garcia made some big saves to keep his team in the game.
“Tonight just wasn’t our night,” Holmes said.
The Huskies were the two-time defending NCS champs, having won in 2018 and 2019.
There was no playoff tournament held last year.