Tigers win Mack tournament, as Big 5 teams continue to build

File photo – Arcata’s Ethan Gyenis, right, looks set for a big season on the local high school soccer fields.

An impressive start to the new season continued for the Arcata boys soccer team at the McKinleyville tournament this weekend.

The Tigers won all three of their games to go to 4-0, including a 2-0 win over Eureka in Saturday’s championship game.

And the Tigers are playing an entertaining and intelligent brand of soccer.

“It was fun to watch,” head coach John Davidson said. “I really enjoy watching this group. We were able to control the midfield, and we’ve been working on our defense, and defense wins championships.”

Ethan Gyenis scored both goals in the championship game, both from penalty spot and both in the first half.

The Tigers also welcomed back Josiah Gomez to the starting lineup after a recent ankle injury, and he had an immediate impact.

Playmaker Izaiah Grosveld and Miles Kraemer each also had impressive tournaments.

The Tigers defeated Willits in their opener and then got the better of a quality Calistoga program in the semifinal, with Gyenis and Kaden O’Brien scoring.

Eureka, meanwhile, went 2-1 in tournament play, including an 8-1 win over Upper Lake and a 2-0 win over McKinleyville.

“We were able to move the ball well throughout the tournament,” head coach Eddie Garcia said.

A number of players impressed for the Loggers, including ever-dangerous junior Tomas Paoli and sophomores Trenton Gerber and Will Mooney, all of whom combined well in midfield.

The Loggers are also expecting big things this fall out of seniors Ean Savage, Jiagdae Her and Aidan Sloper and juniors Joe Morris, Diego Rivas and Noah Waggar.

Sophomore Makai Dennon also appears ready to have an impact this season.

“We’re a young team, but we’ve got a lot of talent and we expect to challenge for the top the whole way,” Garcia said.

The Fortuna Huskies went 2-1 in tournament play and the McKinleyville Panthers finished 1-2.

McKinleyville beat Willits 4-0 and lost 3-0 to Calistoga, but the young Panthers players impressed their coach despite losing to the Wildcats.

“That was by far our best game,” head coach Ryne Deppe said. “We were pressuring, we were passing, we were playing great defense.”

The coach added that his “back line held together really well.”

Sophomore team captain Rylee Collart continued to impress and netted twice against Willits, while midfielder Daniel Jones had a “phenomenal game” against Calistoga.

A new-look Fortuna team also impressed head coach Daniel Holmes, as the players continue to make progress early in the season.

Aristeo Herrera and Adrian Magana in partícular had good tournaments.

“We’re still putting things together, but I’m proud of the boys,” Holmes said.

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