South Fork’s soccer team had all week to prepare for its match at McKinleyville on Saturday and held the much bigger school to a narrow losing margin of 1-0.
"We controlled the match," said head coach Travis Genzoli. "There was a ton of win in this game for us. This was the week where we went from ‘we can hang with these guys’ to ‘we should have won this one’." Genzoli was referring to his season-long record of close losses to Humboldt Del Norte big schools.
The Cubs created more than a half dozen quality scoring chances and were only thwarted by one touch too many here or a slightly misplaced strike there. McKinleyville was panicked into playing boom ball as the Cubs ably controlled the midfield, sending long balls forward in attempts to get behind the solid Cub defense. Their only goal came on a corner kick that curled under the bar just inside the post off of junior goalie Jesus Lopez as he lept to make the save.
Playing well for the Cubs was senior Damian Alatorre at sweeper, sophomore Eli Kahan at midfield and sophomore Robbie Anderson who played a variety of positions.
"Our bench also played very well," said Genzoli who rotated his big squad through the game, moving his experienced players into defensive roles as the newbies played up front.
The Cubs will play at Eureka tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with renewed confidence after the close result against McKinleyville.
"We’ll be working on strengthening our wing play," said Genzoli. The Cubs’ record now stands at 2-7 on the season.
PHOTOS BY HEATHER SOLOMAN
1. Senior David Beebe, takes control of the ball during play against McKinleyville.
2. Junior Ryver Gribi prepares to pass the ball.