By Ray Hamill — The Del Norte Warriors will have a big say in the outcome of this year’s H-DNL boys soccer championship and they appear determined to make the eventual champion earn it the hard way.
This fall has given us the most exciting league race in several years, with the Arcata Tigers and Eureka Loggers neck and neck at the top of the standings as we head into the final week of action.
The Loggers are 7-0-3 with two games remaining, while the Tigers are 7-0-2 with three games still to play.
After a 3-1 win at St. Bernard’s on Tuesday, the Warriors are third in the league standings with a record of 6-3.
They’re also perfect in their four games played at home, where they have performed far better than on the road.
The Warriors are 2-3 in road games and have been outscored 10-9, while they are 4-0 in Crescent City and have outscored their opponents 21-1.
More importantly in the race for the league championship, the Del Norte players are embracing the challenge of closing out with games against the top two teams in the league and having a say in where the pennant ends up.
“We will put in our best effort in both home games,” head coach David Sanyaolu said. “The boys are pumped for those games.”
Andy Garcia opened the scoring for the visitors on an early free kick, but the Crusaders battled back to tie things up from the penalty spot.
The second half, however, belonged to the Warriors, with goals from Mario Ledezma and Yahir Alanis sealing the road win.
The Warriors’ big stretch run gets under way on Saturday, when they host the Tigers at 3 p.m.
Following a trip to McKinleyville on Tuesday, Del Norte returns home to host Eureka next Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.