The Eureka and Del Norte boys got the new H-DNL soccer season off to a good start on Tuesday, as did the McKinleyville girls.
Particularly on defense.
All three won their opening matchups with a shutout, including a surprising 3-0 win for the Warriors at home to eight-time defending boys league champion Fortuna.
Thea Trout netted a hat trick for the Panthers, while the industrious Soffia Reyes also scored and had an assist.
And it was a typical opener for the McKinleyville girls in some ways.
“I think it was a good educational game to work some kinks out and give us some confidence,” head coach Adam Canepa said. “We still have a lot of things to improve.”
Liz Mengel continued to impress and assisted on one of the goals, as did goalie Caitlyn Canepa, who set up Trout for one of her strikes on a long pass.
“Our back line played well again,” the head coach said.
Eureka 3, McKinleyville 0
Ean Savage scored two goals to lead the offense and the Loggers defense shut out a dangerous McKinleyville attack.
Donovan Millender also scored in the win, while a balanced team effort saw three different Eureka players finish with an assist, including Tomas Paoli, Noah Wagar and Jiagdae Her.
“It was a great team effort,” said Eureka head coach Eddie Garcia, who added “Our midfield had a good game combining, controlling the game and linking up play and our forwards were dangerous through the entire game.”
A pair of sophomores stepped up at the back for McKinleyville, including goalie Nick Maher.
“He got everything that was remotely in his range,” head coach Ryne Deppe said.
Sophomore center back Max Mather also did a good job anchoring the team defense, and both players, according to the coach, have taken big steps.
Del Norte 3, Fortuna 0
Del Norte got the new campaign off to an impressive start with a win over the defending champions in Crescent City.
“It was a good team effort by my boys, accomplished by grit, handwork and good offensive play, especially in the first half,” head coach David Sanyaolu said. “Fortuna played well in the second half but our defense was solid.”
According to Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes, his team showed improvement as the game were on.
“Our age is definitely showing and that’s okay,” he said. “We are willing to put in the work. We will take it one match at a time.”