By Ray Hamill — It has been an up and down league campaign for the Eureka boys soccer team so far, but the Loggers have an ace up their sleeve as they get set for the second round of league play.
An unusual schedule meant they have had to play the majority of their early-season games away from home, but that means they get to play most of their remaining games at home.
And head coach Eddie Garcia and his players are hoping that will give them a boost at a pivotal time of the season.
They will kick off the second round of league play at home to McKinleyville on Saturday in what will be the first of four consecutive home games for the team.
Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.
After that, the Loggers will play successive games at Albee Stadium against Arcata, St. Bernard’s and Fortuna, three games that will go a long way toward defining their league challenge.
They then travel to Miranda to play South Fork in what is always a tricky fixture to navigate, before closing out league play at home to Del Norte on Oct. 28.
Just how beneficial home field will be at the business send of the season remains to be seen, but it could be the difference in what is the most competitive championship race we’ve seen in H-DNL boys soccer in some time.
At the halfway point of the campaign, there is little separating the top five teams in the standings, each of which has either three or four wins.
And that group of contenders includes the Loggers, who are 3-2-1 in league and 6-7-1 overall.
And with the other four contenders all scheduled to travel to Albee Stadium over the next few weeks, the race for this championships will go through Eureka.
In other games this weekend, Arcata plays at St. Bernard’s and Fortuna travels to Del Norte.
South Fork has a bye in league this weekend.