Longtime Arcata head coach Patrick Stranahan could be enjoying his best season yet on the sidelines.
On Thursday, anchored by their outstanding defense, the Tigers held the Fortuna Huskies scoreless in a 0-0 tie at Arcata.
It was the second tie against one of the league favorites in three days for a young Arcata team that is improving every game and is quickly establishing itself as a worthy league contender under Stranahan.
With Sionna Khattab and Maile Russell leading the way on defense, the Tigers soaked up a lot of Fortuna pressure but didn’t give up any goals, while goalkeeper Kyndle Eisner made 14 saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Soquel Macdonald led the Arcata attack with three shots.
It was also a good performance from the Huskies, who enjoyed plenty of possession and created plenty of opportunities, but were just unable to convert any of them.
Allie Cox and Alondra Ramirez led the Fortuna attack and caused the Arcata defense problems throughout with their creativity on the ball and relentless running.
And they weren’t the only standouts for the visitors.
“On the wings, Jocelyn Marquez and Kalie Chittenden added width to our attack, displaying exceptional speed and dribbling that created numerous opportunities,” Fortuna head coach Arnulfo Aguirre said.
The ever-consistent Brylee Barsanti also had another big game in defense.
“Brylee’s remarkable defensive prowess and playmaking abilities shone brightly as she disrupted the Tigers’ midfield and initiated attacks for us with Miriam Munoz-Guerrero,” the coach said. “Our defense remained rock solid throughout the game.”
The Tigers are now 1-1-2 in league play, while Fortuna is 2-1-1.
Aguirre admitted he felt his team deserved more from the game but paid credit to Arcata for “making it difficult for us.”
Next up, on Tuesday, Arcata travels to McKinleyville and the Huskies host Eureka.