Del Norte

Huskies edge the Panthers in a shootout to win Mack tournament

Photos by Cherie Fry Circe – Action from Saturday’s games at the McKinleyville tournament.

The Fortuna Huskies were crowned champions at the McKinleyville girls soccer tournament on Saturday, but it took a penalty shootout to get the better of the host team after an exciting championship game.

The Huskies are off to an impressive start this season under new head coach Samuel Licona and improved to 4-0-1 with a strong showing at the two-day tournament.

Chloe Cox and Taylor Brooks each netted in the championship game, scoring early in the second half to break a 0-0 tie.

But the Mack girls battled back with two goals by senior Thea Trout, the second coming just five minutes from the end of regulation.

The game ended 2-2 and went to a shootout.

“They refused to lose,” Panthers head coach Adam Canepa said of his players. “It was a really good game. I’m excited for the season.”

Cox and Brooks have both impressed early in the season and are setting the tone offensively for the Huskies, while teammates Brylee Barsanti and Malia Bolden have been instrumental on the defensive side of the ball.

“What I like about them is they’re really hard working and willing to learn,” Licona said of his players. “They want to improve every day and as a coach that’s what you want. And they have a passion for the game.”

The Huskies got the better of Fort Bragg 6-0 in their semifinal, while McKinleyville defeated Ferndale 5-2 in the other semi.

The Wildcats bounced back to beat Fort Bragg 4-1 in the third-place game.

Del Norte also won on Saturday, defeating Willits 4-1 in the consolation game.

Ferndale finished 2-2 in tournament play, while the Warriors were 1-2.

After two shutouts on the opening day, the Mack defense continued to play well in the playoff rounds, with Lacie Rink, Taya Gomes, Kennedy Minton and Gabby Watson all contributing.

Midfielder Soffia Reyes also had a big tournament, along with the ever-dangerous Trout.

The H-DNL kicks off next week.

Photo by Cherie Fry Circe

Photo by Cherie Fry Circe

Ray Hamill/ – The Fortuna coaches talk to their players during tournament action on Friday.

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