Tie-gers, Panthers finish all square at McKinleyville

Photos by Cherie Fry Circe – Action from Tuesday’s game at McKinleyville.

For one team, Tuesday’s Big 4 girls soccer game at McKinleyville High was a breakthrough result, while for the other it was what we’ve come to expect recently.

The Arcata Tigers traveled to play their league rivals and tied the Panthers 1-1.

The result ended a four-game losing streak in the Big 4 for the home team, which has continued to show improvement in league play.

The Panthers, who had dropped two of their past three games by the narrowest of margins, improved to 0-4-1 in the Big 4.

Gabby Watson scored the only goal of the game for McKinleyville, netting on a wonderful long-range strike after receiving a throw-in from Grace Pimentel.

And the team continues to grow as a unit.

“We were moving the ball well,” head coach Brady Burtchett said. “We connected on a lot of passes and had a lot of shots.”

Goalkeeper Caitlyn Canepa had a big game for the Panthers again and is enjoying an outstanding season between the posts, while Watson was her usual composed self in the heart of defense, as was Pimentel at fullback.

The always-consistent Liz Mengel also had a good game for McKinleyville in midfield.

“It was probably one of the better games we moved the ball around,” the head coach added.

The tie for the Tigers, meanwhile, was their third straight in league play.

After finishing deadlocked with Eureka and Fortuna last week, a young Arcata team once again shared the spoils with the Panthers.

A pair of younger players were involved in the Tigers’ goal.

Freshman forward Ada Kinziger found the back of the net, with sophomore Gabriela Cavinta assisting on the score.

Junior Maile Russell also had a big game in defense to lead a strong Arcata back line that has held five of its last seven opponents to one or fewer goals.

The Tigers are now 1-1-3 in the Big 4.

In other Big 4 games on Tuesday, the Eureka girls enjoyed a statement 7-0 victory at Fortuna to move two wins clear at the top of the league standings.

Next up, on Thursday, the Arcata girls travel to Eureka and the McKinleyville girls travel to play Fortuna.

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