Mad River Union
ARCATA – As Arcata and Eureka battled to a 1-1 tie in the championship game of the Arcata Eye of the Tiger Invitational girls soccer tournament Saturday, it was a contest between friends at the Arcata Sports Complex.
“A bunch of our teammates have played with each other, and I personally have played with a lot of Eureka’s players,” said Arcata left forward Bailey Cherms. “So I’m proud of both teams.”
Arcata technically won the tourney based on a one-goal differential against St. Bernard’s – a late-game penalty kick surrendered by the Lady Loggers.
“We combined passes. I think we could’ve won … maybe,” said Sarah Lester, a senior who plays right wing for the Lady Loggers. “It was really hot. We’re not used to the heat.”
“Honestly, we played above expectation,” Cherms said. “We were hyped. Warmups, we stayed focused. No extra talking, just about the game. We made sure our heads were where they needed to be.”
Arcata senior forward Faith Schneider-Reuter gathered a pass and eluded defenders long enough to give the Lady Panthers a 1-0 edge less than four minutes into the game.
Eureka countered when junior forward Olivia Stone converted a direct kick on the outside right edge of the goalie’s box – a booming 35-yard shot that landed in the far corner of the net.
In the first minute, Arcata’s Hailey Dawson bounced a shot off the goal post. Both sides could not convert on several goal mouth scrambles.
In the first round, Cherms scored two goals to lead Arcata over St. Bernard’s 5-0. Schneider-Reuter and Dawson each chipped in a goal and assist. Nina Crossen assisted Karina Zumbrum.
Eureka opened up with a 6-0 victory over McKinleyville as junior forward Athena Miller scored five goals. Lester had two assists.
With another strong effort from Jaycee Morais, the Lady Panthers beat St. Bernard’s to place third. A junior, she connected on an 18-yard direct kick in the 3-2 win against the Lady Crusaders. She had a breakout game earlier in the week, scoring four goals and assisting on another in a 9-0 win over Clear Lake.