Both Eureka soccer teams continued their impressive start to league play with victories over St. Bernard’s at Albee Stadium on Wednesday evening, while the South Fork boys posted a very impressive tie at home to McKinleyville in terrible conditions.
The downpour of rain led to the postponement of the Arcata girls’ home game with Fortuna, minutes after the Huskies snuck a hard-fought 1-0 win in the boys’ showdown to improve to 7-0.
Rounding out a busy evening of local action, the McKinleyville girls won 4-0 at South Fork.
For more on the Fortuna boys’ win, see Atilano strike sees off the Tigers …
McKinleyville 1, South Fork 1
The South Fork Cubs overcame a halftime deficit to pull out an impressive tie against a Big 5 opponent.
Izaac Robles scored the tying goal in the second half, and the Cubs got another strong performance from sophomore goalie Logan Hobbs and his defense to hold the Panthers at bay the rest of the way.
“Against the bigger teams we have to rely on defense, and that’s kind of our game plan,” South Fork head coach Kelly Paine said. “And then we try to take our chances.”
For McKinleyville, the result was a disappointing one.
The Panthers came into the season with high expectations, but have just one tie in their opening two league games after also losing at Eureka a week ago.
“We didn’t play smart,” McKinleyville head coach Ryne Deppe said. “We decided we wanted to blast every shot.”
Caleb Coke got the Panthers’ only goal off a sloppy play in the goalmouth that the keeper was unable to gather.
The Mack coach praised the Cubs’ effort.
“They play with heart, South Fork does,” Deppe said. “They always play really well at their home.”
Sophomore defender Kobe Gellman had a big day in the heart of a busy defense for the home team, among many others.
Log on to Humboldt Sports on Thursday evening for a more complete breakdown of this year’s South Fork team.
The Cubs, who are now 2-3-1, rolled over Laytonville on Monday 7-0.
Tanner Curran and Ethan Kulchin each scored twice in the win, while Jayden Paine, Cody Gamble and Gavin Salomon each netted once.
St. Bernard’s 2, Eureka 8
The Loggers improved to 2-0 in league play, overcoming an early deficit to beat the Crusaders, who were playing their first game of the season.
Trace Dunlap headed in the go-ahead goal off a corner kick by teammate Joseph Luna to give the visitors an early lift.
But the home team settled down, scoring seven goals before halftime.
Luis Romero, Jesus Parra and Kai Gallegos each scored twice in the win, while David Parra and Micah Duncan both netted once.
“We started a little sluggish and it took us a little bit to settle,” Eureka head coach Eddie Garcia said. “But in the end we got the result.”
Freshman Brayden Luna scored St. Bernard’s second goal in the second half, beating the keeper on a wonderful one-on-one move for his first high school goal.
“The boys played a great second half,” St. Bernard’s head coach Brian Dunlap said.
Crusaders goalie Ben Hyuan had an outstanding day between the posts, making several big saves.
Seniors Jon Andre and Nathan Lenhoff both also had big games for the visitors and are expected to play a big role this season.
“It’s a young team, but it’s an up-and-coming team,” Dunlap said. “For sure there’s some talent there.”
Dunlap also praised his assistant coach Nate Rivera for working with his players on different formations this season.
McKinleyville 4, South Fork 0
Cicely Jones scored twice to lead the Panthers to a four-goal win in terrible conditions at Miranda.
Alex Clifford and Sophia Reyes each also scored for the Panthers, who improved to 1-1 in league play, with assists from Mackenzie Bray and Olivia Alexander, a.k.a. “OA.”
“We played good enough, I guess, but there are areas for improvement as far as preparation for our next game,” McKinleyville head coach Adam Canepa said. “But it was hard to judge based on the field conditions.”
The South Fork girls turned in another gritty performance against the bigger school.
“They came out and they played really well in the second half,” Canepa said of the Cubs.
Injuries and sickness didn’t help matters for the home team, with some key players missing.
Goalie Lyndsee Brewer had another big game for the Cubs and continues to develop between the posts, making 12 saves, including stopping a first-half penalty kick.
“She’s really coming along,” SF coach Ann Constantino said of the sophomore shot stopper. “She’s worked hard, and she loves the game.”
Freshman Kayla Berteaux continued her impressive season with another strong performance in midfield and “never stops hustling,” according to her coach.
Likewise with junior co-captain Marian Del Rio, who continues to be the driving force for the South Fork girls in center mid.
For Mack, Jones continued to impress and had another big showing in the center of midfield, alongside Dakota AndersonSpirit.
Up front, Rayn Tripp caused the home team problems all day, finishing with eight shots on goal, including a beautiful strike that was called back for one of the penalty kicks.
Mack right back Kathryn Tinney had one of the defensive plays of the game with a goal-line clearance.
South Fork’s game with Laytonville, which was scheduled for this past Monday, was postponed.
St. Bernard’s 1, Eureka 7
Klayre Barres and Aquene Tollefson each scored three goals as the Loggers continued their fast start to league play with a comfortable win over the Crusaders.
Tollefson added an assist, and Liza Crassweller rounded out the scoring.
“We played well,” Eureka head coach Tommy Learmouth said. “We came out kind of flat for the first 20 minutes, but after that our intensity really picked up.”
A pair of Eureka freshmen — Amelia Staiano and Jordan Brown — continued their impressive starts to the season and have adapted quickly to the varsity game.
Staiano had a pair of assists and “played lights out,” according to her coach, in her first full high school game, while Brown also had an assist and contributed all over the field.
Keylei Carroll and Rebecca Russ continued to anchor another solid defensive effort from the home team, alongside Staiano, Angelina Wescott and Marissa Hall.
Celebrating her birthday, Brynn Hales also had an outstanding game in center midfield and in attack.
Junior Fa’apisa Fonoti scored the only goal for the Crusaders, who were playing their first league game.
“We played fine,” St. Bernard’s assistant coach Phil Rouse said. “We just tend to get down when we give up a couple of early goals. But we made a nice recovery in the second half.”
Marayah Tomlinson, who set up the goal off a free kick, had another strong performance for the Crusaders and continues to lead the way this season.
Shelby Jordan and Ema Brenes combined to do a good job marking Barres, Eureka’s MVP candidate.
Jordan also had an impact with some dangerous surging runs late in the game.
“She got a little angry, and you want your team to get a little angry when they’re down like that,” Rouse said.
The coach also credited midfielder Emma Wilson, who continues to impress alongside Tomlinson.
Rachel Rodrigues had a solid game in goal for the Crusaders, making 10 saves.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.