Hounds drop home opener

New head coach Gary Setting pleased with early season performances

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Greyhounds opened their boys’ soccer season in a new section, in a new league and with a new head coach in Gary Setting. The Hounds hosted their first home game on Monday against Pioneer Valley and lost 2-1 but played well for all but three minutes at the end of the first half when they let two goals get by them after jumping out to a 1-0 lead late in the first half.

“Last night I gave the boys the goal of scoring first and they did, then we gave a couple quick ones back there before the half and then in the second half we held 0-0,” Setting said. “Every half we play we work on some things to get better with this group of boys this year but also to develop an understanding and direction working with the future because we are pretty young.”

Atascadero is incredibly young this year and only have two seniors, Lindley Brown and Jacob Trolisas, on the roster. In fact, the Hounds have more freshmen on the roster this season (3) than they do seniors.

The first 20 minutes of the game were played almost entirely on the Atascadero half of the field and then as the boys became accustomed to the speed of the game they began generating chances offensively, which is exactly the strategy Setting wants to play with this team.

“We’ve worked this last week on our defense, essentially, because I like to defend, defend first and then try to outscore the team second,” Setting said. “I think that is a good way to approach the game in some degree and not to take away from any offensive attack but we have been working a little bit defensively, so to see them come out and be defensive and work on that and feel comfortable with that working out of the back a little and not forcing the ball, I felt victorious in the half even though we gave up those quick two goals.”

The Hounds’ first real scoring chance came with around nine minutes left to play in the first half as sophomore JJ Subia drew a free kick just outside the corner of the 18-yard box. Brown tried to curl a pass into the box but hit it just a little too far past his teammates.

Just a few minutes later Subia again set up the Greyhounds this time assisting to Titus Ayala who buried a shot from about 20-yards out giving Atascadero the 1-0 lead.

The Panthers answered back with two quick goals of their own before the half and that was the last of the scoring. Atascadero will be hosting part of the Cats and Hounds double-elimination soccer tournament this weekend that will have 16 teams from around the state.

“I am just hoping they can go and continue to be competitive and build confidence,” Setting said of the tournament. “I expect the conditions to be very challenging with playing in the wet conditions.”


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