TEMPLETON— The Atascadero girl’s soccer team has opened the season on a roll and continued last week when they made the short bus trip to Templeton to take on the Eagles.
Templeton entered the game undefeated after tying Paso Robles the previous week and after beating
Atascadero entered the game with a 5-1-1 record and playing great, team-oriented soccer. The Atascadero team has set its sights on the ultimate goal this season, a CIF championship, and are playing with the confidence of a team that believes. Atascadero has prioritized the fundamentals and playing correctly in early season games more than they even have prioritized winning as they work to build depth and confidence.
The first half was mostly played in the midfield without either team taking any significant shots on goal. The shrill screams of, “Push up!” sliced through the dry, cold, night air from both ends of the field with both teams trying to establish rhythm and possession.
With the tight-knit community in the North County, many of the players on both teams are friends, former classmates, and even former teammates.
“It’s kind of weird to kind of go against them and not be friendly and compete,” Annaline Breytenbach said after the game.
It took the Greyhounds around 30 minutes to start establishing themselves, putting their first points on the board with only a few minutes left in the first half. With just over three minutes left in the game, Serena Ramirez was able to find some open space in the Eagle defense and head in a beautiful assist from Beth Andrade.
“I think we had a pretty rough start,” Ramirez said. “We didn't play our best but I mean we didn't give up and we kept it together and we kept trying to send it up and make goals so that was good.”
The Greyhounds controlled the possession for most of the second half and put a lot of pressure on the Eagles back line. Templeton’s Sienna Sagely continued to make long runs for the Eagles but was never able to break free.
Atascadero continued to knock on the door all second half and finally added to their lead late when Hailey Pires poked it by the Templeton keeper with six minutes left.
“Our communication could have been better but I think we picked it up in the second half and started communicating more and that's where we got more opportunities on goal,” Ramirez said. “We tried to find feet more instead of just kicking it up because we were kind of panicking so we kind of like calmed down and