The Marin Academy men’s soccer team received an eighth seed in an eight-team playoff series but won their return to Marin after a 4-0 road win over Granite Bay on Thursday night.
The No. 8 Wildcats are set to face No. 7 Archie Williams – who also won two road games to find his way back to Marin – in the NorCal Division III Finals tentatively scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Archie Williams.
The Marin Academy girls are tentatively set to host Chico at 1 p.m. Saturday in a NorCal final. Archie Williams hosts the William Taylor Track and Field Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Tyler Huck broke the seal on the MA Boys’ goal against Granite Bay, scoring in the 35th minute. Parker Mascott played a long ball to Huck, who made initial contact with his thigh to beat his defender, then pressed a shot past the keeper to make it 1-0.
MA looked to take that lead at half-time but added a second just before the break when Alex Marmolejo beat his defender on the outside and crossed the ball to Aiden Aley who made it 2-0.
“Scoring that second goal at half time is a mental blow (for Granite Bay),” said MA coach Josh Kalkstein.
MA’s onslaught continued in the second half as Marmolejo was fouled inside the 18-yard box and Aley converted the ensuing penalty for a 3-0 lead . Aley then got the assist on the fourth goal, taking a corner from which Malcolm Zalayet scored for a 4-0 lead.
“It was a good 18 minutes when we put four goals in for them,” Kalkstein said.
Goaltender Alex Hayward made some big saves to preserve the shutout.
“The boys are just playing the lights right now and I know the Archie guys are too,” Kalkstein said. “It says a lot for Marin soccer that we have had so many successful teams in (north coast section) and now NorCals. It’s just amazing.