The Arcata Tigers denied their biggest rivals a perfect league campaign thanks to a second-half goal from Zoe Macknicki on Wednesday night.
After losing twice to Eureka earlier in league play, the Arcata girls came away from Albee Stadium with a 1-1 tie in both teams’ regular season finale.
“We played okay,” said Eureka head coach Tommy Learmouth, whose team had clinched the Big 4 title with three games to spare and finished league play 8-0-1. “It was senior night and there was a lot of emotion. It just looked like we were stuck in second gear.
One of the team’s five seniors, Saedra Joseph, gave Eureka the lead early in the first half, with Lila Ekholdt assisting on the goal.
But the visitors responded early in the second half, when Macknicki netted to make it 1-1.
It was just the fourth goal the league champs have allowed in nine Big 4 games.
The result was a big one for the Arcata girls, who had lost by a combined 10-0 in their first two meetings against Eureka.
Macknicki, Kyla Berman, Maile Russell, Sionna Khattab, Gracie Townsend and Kyndle Eisner all played well for the Tigers, who will head into the North Coast Section playoffs with some momentum.
The NCS playoff seedlings and bracket will be announced on Sunday.
Eureka is ranked No. 1 in Division 1, according to MaxPreps, while Arcata is No. 3, so don’t be surprised if these two teams meet again.