Collart nets late winner as Mack boys beat their rivals in league finale

The Panthers will carry some momentum into the North Coast Section boys soccer playoffs after a couple of nice wins this week.

They’ll also be hoping to start their games a little stronger when they get there.

On Saturday, McKinleyville closed out league play with a thrilling 3-2 win over Arcata, with Rylee Collart netting the winning goal just a couple of minutes before full-time.

Check out Collart’s game winning goal above …

The win avenged an earlier 6-2 defeat to the Tigers in league play. 

But the Panthers had to overcome a sluggish start that saw them trailing by a pair of goal just four minutes into the game.

“We’ve proven to be a second-half team and that takes some resiliency,” head coach Ryne Deppe said. “I’m glad we proved to ourselves that we can come back from something like that. I think that’s really important for this team going into the playoffs.”

Collart was instrumental in the comeback and has been one of his team’s most consistent performers this season.

He also scored from the penalty spot to tie Saturday’s game.

“Rylee had an amazing second half today,” Deppe said. “His second-half play made everyone better and he combined with other guys and that was the difference.”

Max Mather, who has played a variety of different roles for the Panthers this season, scored their opening goal off a well-placed cross form teammate Jake Gardner.

“He’s really been a versatile player,” Deppe said of Mather, who played mostly defense before changing his role this season. “He’s a versatile player who’s kind of playing all over the field for us. He had a great game.”

Cruz Aguilar scored both of Arcata’s goals.

The Panthers also defeated Willits 7-3 on Wednesday to ensure playoff eligibility.

But once again they started slow and the game was tied 3-3 at halftime before the Mack boys pulled away.

McKinleyville and the rest of the H-DNL teams will find out their playoff seeds and opening-round opponent when the brackets are announced on Sunday.

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