BIG 4 SOCCER — Loggers, Huskies set up pivotal league showdown

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Tuesday’s game at Albee Stadium.

By Ray Hamill — The two Big 4 favorites got their league campaign off to a winning start in girls soccer on Tuesday night, setting up an enthralling showdown this weekend.

Eureka overcame a sluggish first half on the way to defeating McKinleyville 4-0 at Albee Stadium, while Fortuna got the better of Arcata 2-0 at Husky Field.

Both teams improved to 1-0 in league play while remaining perfect on the season and they will face off in a key game at Albee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Eureka girls were missing two key starters — Lorena Hernandes and Ella Tollefson — for personal reasons on Tuesday, but it didn’t slow them down much.

Grace Nelson continued her impressive start to the season with a pair of goals, with teammates Lila Ekholdt and Angelina Conant each also netting once.

The industrious and ever-dangerous Ekholdt also assisted on a pair of goals, with Emily Pesch and Maia Hales each also getting an assist.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Loggers, who improved to 5-0 overall.

“I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think we played very well in the first half,” Eureka head coach Tommy Learmouth said. “It just felt off. I didn’t feel we had our normal energy. 

“I did think in the second half we were a lot better. We got back to playing our game and I have to commend them for that.”

Ekholdt and Conant continued to command the middle of the field in the absence of Tollefson, who is one of the team’s chief playmakers, while defender Paige Rodgers moved into a holding midfield role and excelled at the new position.

Pesch, Marin Matteoli and Olivianna Millender each also played well, with the latter “absolutely phenomenal” at outside back, according to her coach.

The Huskies, meanwhile, improved to 10-0 with the league-opening win.

And once again, it was a total team effort, according to head coach Arnulfo Aguirre.

“The team displayed an outstanding collective effort that resulted in our win,” said the first-year head coach, who has yet to lose a game in charge.

Allie Cox and Raigan Brooks both scored in the win.

For Arcata, goalkeeper Kyndle Eisner continued to grow in stature with a big performance that kept her team in touch, while Sionna Khattab and Maile Russell both also played well in the loss.

The defeat was the first of the season for the Tigers, who are now 3-1 overall.

Saturday’s big showdown, which has been pushed back from Thursday because of Fortuna homecoming festivities, is set for 1:30 p.m. at Albee Stadium and will be the first of three league meetings between the two schools this fall.

3 replies »

  1. A) Illegal black wrist band, smh.
    B) The grass needs major trimming… a 50% flat top haircut… did not know the game was to be played on wheat fields…

    These student athletes are getting short-changed with the field set-ups… gimme a riding lawn mower to cut the darned field grass…be a small part to donate time…like Bonomini did for decades… that guy was classic on-the-ground get stuff done… good guy really.

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