The Arcata Tigers showed no signs of a letdown after an impressive league campaign with a comfortable 5-2 win over Lower Lake in the North Coast Section quarterfinals at Arcata High on Saturday.
The No. 2 seeds in the Division-1 bracket will now advance to Wednesday’s semifinals, where they will host No. 3 Making Waves, who are the defending section champions.
Saturday’s game was played in muddy conditions on the new Arcata field, but it is likely Wednesday’s game will be switched to McKinleyville High School.
“It was brilliant in the first 20 minutes the way we were able to combine,” head coach John Davidson said. “On that field in those conditions, it was remarkable the way we were able to move the ball around.”
Izaiah Grosveld scored the first two goals of the game, one with each foot, with Ethan Gyenis adding the third on a sloppy defensive play that Davidson admits could have been an own goal.
Kaden O’Brien assisted on the first of Grosveld’s goals, which was finished with a nice curling shot from outside the box, while the second capped an impressive flowing team move.
“They were two wonderful goals,” the head coach said.
The ever-consistent Miles Kraemer made it 4-0 after the break with another nice strike.
“He’s got a great long shot,” the coach said.
Improving freshman Jullian Gillespie closed out the scoring form the penalty spot.
Gyenis, the team’s regular penalty kick taker, handed him the ball to take the kick after the freshman had been taken down in the box and the youngster did not disappoint.
Davidson described the gesture by Gyenis as “a classy move.”
At the back, junior goalie Sean Shermer continued to impress and made some big stops to keep the Trojans at bay until late in the game.
“He had some really remarkable moments in the second half,” the head coach said. “He had two reaction saves that really showed what he can do, what he’s capable of.”
The Fortuna boys also remain in contention in the NCS playoffs after their 4-1 win over Eureka on Friday night and will play in the other seminal against No. 1 seed Head-Royce.