Boys’ Soccer Drops 2 Matches Last Week

Senior forward Chris Arbuthnot battles for the ball at McKinleyville last Wednesday [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

South Fork High’s boys’ soccer team dropped two league matches last week, falling 4-0 on the road against McKinleyville, and then 4-2 to St. Bernard’s at home on Saturday. The losses bring their record to 1-4, but the critical single win preserves their winning record against small schools necessary to get into the post season tourney.

“We weren’t as mentally prepared against McKinleyville as we were against Eureka”, said head coach Kelly Paine, referring to his team’s strong performance in a 3-0 loss against the Loggers last weekend.

The Panthers scored within the first five minutes of the game as South Fork’s defense “got off to a slow start,” according to Paine. An unlucky bad bounce took a normally savable shot past junior goalie Cooper Scott for the second McKinleyville goal. They added another before the end of the period and the Cubs were down 3-0 at the intermission.

Senior defender Rickie Anderson wins the ball in McKinleyville last Wednesday [Photo by Crystal Salomon]

“We did much better in the second half,” said Paine. “Our defense stepped it up and we were able to move the ball around for a few attacks.” The Panthers did put one more goal away before the end of the game for the 4-0 final score.

On Saturday, early game jitters got both South Fork and St. Bernard’s on the board within the first ten minutes. Junior Carlos Garcia scored for the Cubs to equalize at 1-1.

The half continued as both sides had their share of surges upfield, with South Fork having the better chances, and finally getting a go-ahead goal when sophomore midfielder Banyan Harding served a long throw-in to junior midfielder Desi lafferty who got his first goal of the season.

The Cubs hung onto their slim lead for twenty minutes into the second half, but St. Bernard’s “were more fired up than we were,” according to Coach Paine, and soon scored an equalizer.

“They were the better team in the second half, and we got tired and frustrated,” said Paine. “We gave up the midfield in the second half,” he added. He did have praise for both Scott who played keeper in the first half, and freshman Cameron Messenger who played in goal in the second half, as well as for freshman sweeper Graham McConnell.

This week the Cubs will host Del Norte at a time to be announced on Wednesday, and then will host Willits for Homecoming on Friday at 1 pm. Having lost 4-1 to Willits back on August 30, Paine expects to be much better prepared in the rematch. On Saturday the Cubs will host Fortuna at 11 am.

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