The Del Norte boys soccer team went on the road and played well against Fortuna, but the Warriors were not able to connect on an opportunity to tie the game in the first half, and the Huskies added a pair of late goals for a 3-0 victory over Del Norte.
Although ultimately the Warriors were handed the loss, Del Norte head coach David Sanyaolu was excited about the way his team competed against the top-ranked team in California according to maxpreps.com.
“It was the best game so far of the season, even though we lost,” Sanyaolu said. “The boys raised their level and we competed, and you can’t ask for more than that. After the game the boys were saying, ‘We have gone from losing 13-0 and 10-0 against Fortuna to losing 3-0 and we even had a chance to score.’
“The loss notwithstanding, we played well, but we were playing against the best team in the state. We competed and we had our chances, which we didn’t take, but sometimes you just have to take how the game went and try to improve.”
Fortuna took a lead in the 14th minute following a string of quick passes and a hard shot from the left side of goal, but overall, Sanyaolu said Del Norte went toe-to-toe with the Huskies through the first 40 minutes.
“At that point in the game we were playing well and actually frustrating Fortuna,” Sanyaolu said. “They couldn’t really get their game going, and we were actually putting balls into their half.”
Del Norte’s best opportunity to tie the game came in the 30th minute, when a cross pass found junior Ramsey Gonzalez inside Fortuna’s box and the Warrior wing was taken down, setting up a penalty kick.
Aaron Mignon put a hard shot on goal, but the shot careened off the post and Fortuna was able to hold onto its 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Sanyaolu said the Warriors played a little bit more defensively than in the first 40 minutes.
“I think the boys were just focused on containing them. Traditionally we have always been beaten severely by them,” Sanyaolu said. “So we kind of went on the defensive and they scored a couple late goals.”
The Huskies were able to tack on an insurance goal in the 67th minute, and added a third goal in the 73rd minute to end the scoring.
“We knew what we were up against coming in, but my boys played well, we just played a better team,” Sanyaolu said. “In soccer there is nothing you can do about that. They are better than us, but we just need to keep working on what we know we can improve on. Our ball control and passing can always improve.”
With the loss, Del Norte falls to 6-5 overall this season. The Warriors will be back at home for its final three games of the regular season, starting with a home game Saturday at 11 a.m. against South Fork.
“Against South Fork, if we can play with the same intensity, the same competitive spirit, and also play good soccer, that is our objective,” Sanyaolu said.