TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagles girls soccer team remained perfect in the Ocean League on Tuesday night when they defeated the rival Pirates 2-0 at home thanks to goals from sophomore Merran Grindley and junior Lauryn Simons.
Templeton is now 4-0 in the Ocean League ahead of Santa Maria at 5-1, with their lone loss coming at the feet of the Eagles in a thrilling back-and-forth game on Jan. 15. Santa Maria is also the Eagles’ last game of the season which could set up a huge finale in the first season of the Ocean League.
Templeton jumped on Morro Bay early on Tuesday night and almost recorded a goal in the first minute as Grindley streaked down the visitor's sidelines and sent a ball blasting just wide of the goal. Grindley continued to attack in the early minutes of the game and sent two more shots at the goalie that were just a few feet too high. The Eagles finally broke through around 10 minutes into the game on a corner kick that Grindley volleyed out of the air with her left foot that floated over the head of the keeper for a score (video available below).
After the Eagles scored the Pirates ratcheted up their pressure and their offense and began generating opportunities of their own. Senior goalkeeper Makaila Landes recorded a pair of great saves to keep Templeton ahead at the halfway point.
“The second half was almost exactly like the first half,” Templeton head girls soccer coach Mario Perez said. “It was just back and forth, we were attacking and they would make a stop and then they would attack and we would make a great stop. The field was a little sloppy but we both experienced losing the ball or slipping but for the most part, it was a pretty evenly matched second half.”
Templeton scored one more goal in the second half, this time by one of their team captains in Simons.
“We won the ball, it was a 50/50 ball, Emily Puita, she got to the ball and beat the defender,” Perez said of the goal. “And then passed it into open space and Lauryn Simmons was able to beat her defender and took it to goal and shot and scored.”
Due to weather, the Eagles will play three games this week, making up a game against Mission Prep that was postponed earlier in the season on Wednesday night, and will then play their regularly scheduled game with Nipomo on Friday, both games at home.
“I am proud of the girls and I am proud of how they are playing,” Perez said of his first-place Eagles. “And they seem to support each other. We have had some injuries so there were several girls that were out last night and we still played competitively as a unit.”