By Ray Hamill — Once again The Arcata Tigers have put themselves in position to make some school history.
On Wednesday afternoon, they qualified for the North Coast Section Division-I girls soccer championship game after a 3-0 win over league rival Fortuna in a semifinal showdown at McKinleyville High School.
This will be the fourth straight NCS decider the team has qualified for, and it gives them another opportunity to claim a first-ever section championship for Arcata, boys or girls.
“We’re pretty consistent,” said head coach Patrick Stranahan, who has been in charge for all four championship appearances.
They won on Wednesday with another strong performance in midfield and a composed effort by the defense, with goalkeeper Kyndle Eisner recording a second straight clean sheet.
Up front, the ever-dangerous Alia Prentiss was as deadly as ever in front of goal, scoring twice to bring her playoff tally to six in two games and also assisting on the other goal.
“I think we played very patiently,” Stranahan said. “We didn’t panic, we stayed calm and patient. The girls pretty much stuck to the game plan.”
The midfield trio of Kyla Berman, Zoe Macknicki and Gracie Townsend set the tone and and were outstanding once again.
“That middle three were pretty incredible,” the head coach added.
Macknicki also scored in the win and “is always working hard for us,” according to Stranahan.
While the Tigers have now reached a fourth consecutive NCS championship game — something their biggest rivals have never managed — they have lost on the three previous appearances, including losing to Eureka on a penalty shootout last year.
The Arcata girls will play Eureka in the championship game after the Loggers defeated McKinleyville 3-0 in their semifinal on Wednesday night.
The game will be played on Saturday night at Eureka High at 7 p.m.
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