The Del Norte girls soccer team couldn’t pull of the upset of Arcata, falling 2-0 to the Tigers in Crescent City on Wednesday. But in less than a month, the Warriors have transformed into an entirely new team.
“The overall team effort was great,” said Del Norte head coach Renee Rayls. “The last time we played them I didn’t even keep track of the score after the first half because they were running the score up quite a bit.”
The Warriors fell 7-0 in Arcata when the teams met in Humboldt on Sept. 6. In that game, Del Norte managed to take just two shots on goal over the course of 80 minutes. On Wednesday the Warriors took 10 shots before halftime and finished the game with 16 total shots on goal.
“That is a huge difference. It wasn’t even comparable to last time,” Rayls said. “It was a totally different team, and it was a complete team effort. Our speed was way up and we were competing with Arcata. Our goal was to score a goal against them. We didn’t get that, but we kept them to two goals.”
The game looked fairly evenly matched for most of the first half, but Arcata was finally able to break the scoreless tie in the 23rd minute on a shot from outside the box that the the Warriors keeper was able to get a hand on, but the ball still found its way into the net.
The Tigers doubled their lead with a second goal just seven minutes into the second half.
“Now they know that they are capable of competing with the top teams and that we can win,” Rayls said. “It is just going to take that one shot, maybe from a slightly different angle and a little bit quicker. We are getting there though.”
Rayls also said she liked the way the Warriors defense played.
“We are playing with four defenders right now and we have Payton Machado playing kind of as the last man,” Rayls said. “She is like a gazelle basically. She is really tall and really quick. She drops back to stop anything that gets through the defense, but most of the time it is not getting through. All of the defenders that we have on our team are pretty solid right now. Our defense has been great.”
With the loss, Del Norte falls to 2-5-1 overall this season. The Warriors will be on the road in Eureka on Saturday taking on the Loggers at about 1 p.m.