BOYS SOCCER — Diaz strikes late as Huskies deny the Tigers

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Wednesday’s game at Arcata.

By Ray Hamill — The top two teams in the H-DNL faced off at Arcata High on Wednesday afternoon and they didn’t disappoint with an exciting and well-played game.

League leaders Fortuna trailed by a pair of goals in the first half but would rally to pull out a 2-2 tie, with Hector Diaz netting a fantastic equalizer a few minutes from time.

In other league games on Wednesday, Del Norte defeated South Fork 9-0 and Eureka got the better of St. Bernard’s 13-0, while McKinleyville had a bye.

Cruz Aguilar Miner opened the scoring for Arcata and Izaiah Grosveld would make it 2-0 later in the first half.

However, a penalty kick by Adrian Magana pulled the visitors within one and gave them some momentum heading into the break.

“We played a poor first half and we were sluggish,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Homes said. “But we made some adjustments at halftime.”

It worked for the Huskies, and their second-half pressure paid off when Diaz netted the late equalizer from the edge of the box.

Arcata head coach John Davidson took the blame for the late letdown.

“With more experience I could have made the right adjustments to our system,” he said. “And if I could have been a little more alert and proactive as a coach with making changes to shape and game model we could have won.”

Holmes was happy with the way his players battled back.

“Going down 2-0 and finding a way to get back into it (impressed me),” he said.

He was also impressed with the play of Grosveld, whom Davidson has described as the best player in the league.

“He’s a talented young man and composed on the ball,” the longtime Fortuna head coach said. “And he had a good game.”

With the tie, which wasn’t a bad result for either team, little has changed at the top of the standings.

The Huskies are now 4-1-1 in league play, with the Tigers right on their heels at 3-1-2.

Check out Hector Diaz’s late equalizer at Arcata above …

The two frontrunners will meet again in Fortuna in 10 days in a game that should go a long way toward deciding this year’s championship.

“Good learning experience for me and I’m impressed with Fortuna’s resilience and determination,” Davidson added.

Del Norte also remained in the mix for a league championship and has won three straight games to go to 3-2 in the standings.

On Tuesday there was little between the Warriors and the Cubs early on, with the Del Norte boys leading by just two goals at halftime before pulling away in the second half.

“South Fork played a good game, especially in the first half,” Del Norte head coach David Sanyaolu said. “We upped our game in the second half and the goals followed.”

Tomas Paoli had two goals and a pair of assists for the Loggers, who took control with eight first-half goals, while teammate Luke Hernandez added two goals and an assist.

Levi Grossman, Rodrigo Patino and Sergio Calderon each also had a goal and an assist.

After playing five of their first six league games away from home (and 13 of 14 total games this season), the Loggers will now play four straight games at Albee Stadium as they look to remain in contention for a league championship.

The Eureka boys are now 3-2-1 in what is shaping up to be a very competitive league, with the top five teams all on either three or four wins halfway through the schedule.

Next up, on Saturday, McKinleyville plays at Eureka, Arcata travels to St. Bernard’s and Del Norte hosts Fortuna in another key showdown.

3 replies »

  1. Amazing, 2 longtime coaches who can’t properly equip their players…smh… but winning and taunting the rules is more important…

    …the display of mockery by players and coaches is why high school matches are getting more duals… good luck with that… and maybe when participants get serious, more officials will desire to get involved…

    …the loss of double-headers also shrunk the availability of referees… fuel costs, scheduling conflicts…

    … reads like a fun physical education game though… where participants wore their own scrub outfits…

  2. Rule 5: Pre-Game Conference

    Head coach must attend with captain(s). Referee address sportsmanship and inquires of the coaches if players are properly and legally equipped.

    * so, an either/ or both scenario… either the refs are not asking and the coaches know it, but say zippo.. or, the coaches lie and the refs just wing it…

    …would be interesting data to understand how many, if any, cautions have been levied… booking a coach, then player for being illegally equipped…

    … mocking the uniform requirements is to mock the game…

    Respect The Game… it is quite simple, really… and it starts with passion to execute the 4 D’s as a standard above all else: desire, dedication, determination and discipline…

    …any participant that lacks the maturity to accommodate the game’s simple equipment rules… should not be participating with all due regard…

  3. Coach carded if player illegally equipped and player must go off until next sub time.

    Any subsequent illegal equipment infractions-player is carded, not coach.

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