Hounds top Bearcats in penalty kick shootout

photos by Jasmine Murphy

ATASCADERO — For some reason, somehow, everytime Paso Robles and Atascadero meet it always comes down to wire in an instant classic type of game.

In the final game of the football season, two teams that underperformed according to their standards played the best football game of the year that literally came down to the last play.

When the two boys basketball teams met two weeks ago, four quarters was not enough time to decide a winner as the game went into overtime and Tuesday’s girl’s soccer game was no different as it too went into overtime and eventually to a penalty kick shootout as Atascadero emerged victorious 3-2 after 2 hours and 15 minutes of soccer.

The game was exciting from beginning to end. As parents were still filing into the stadium and wrapping themselves in blankets, Paso Robles’ Jordan Bullard put the Bearcats on the board with a ball she floated past the Hounds sophomore goalie Makaylie Howell after Paso stole the ball from Atascadero off a goal kick.

“I think that we just started off kind of slow and we were kind of nervous because it’s our rival and of course we want to win,” Atascadero senior Haley Pires said. “Then after the first goal we kind of brought it up a little bit and they gave us a good battle.”

Atascadero was knocking on the door all night but had trouble finding the back of the net. The Hounds recorded at least 10 shots in the first several minutes of the game but Paso Robles goalie Magaly Avila played fantastic and had a number of bounces go her way as the Hounds ricocheted more than five balls off the post over the course of the game and overtime.

“It’s just small misses every single time we are so close to getting it into the back of the net and it is just little misses like hitting the crossbar,” Atascadero senior Claire Lohayza said following the game. “It is just frustrating.”

The Greyhounds finally found the back of the net at the midpoint point of the first half as junior Mackenzie Bryson scored after using her speed to get past a Bearcats’ defender. The Hounds’ speed on the wings is one of their greatest strengths and it was evident at times against Paso, especially in the overtime.

The Bearcats regained the lead in the second half when senior Bearcats defender Rebeca Garcia took a long shot that was then followed by Elise Schieffele.

Atascadero again began pushing and Pires was able to speed past the defense and score to tie the game up once again.

It was all Hounds in overtime, in the first half alone the Hounds reeled off five-plus shots with three of them bouncing off the post but none of them finding the net.

“We were pushing them for a while and they were pushing us we just have to continue to keep bringing it,” Paso head coach Dillion Simoulis said following the game. “Their speed on the wings was definitely a factor and gave them some opportunities. We were able to slow it down a little in the second half but in overtime, we got pretty lucky quite a few times coming off the post and our keeper Magaly made some great saves that kept us in the game.”

Both overtime halves went scoreless and the two rivals went to penalty kicks and as if a magic hex had been lifted, neither team could miss. Both teams buried their first five penalty kicks before the Atascadero goalie, who was called up from junior varsity two weeks ago, made the game-winning save (video of the penalty kick shootout is available on our Atascadero News Facebook page).

Both teams are almost to the halfway point in Mountain League play and the league title is still up for grabs with San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande as the only teams without a loss in league — AG has only played two league games to this point — with the second go-round coming after the holidays.

“It is going to be a close season,” Simoulis said. “I think everyone in league has at least one loss except San Luis Obispo and we’re going to give them at least one of those so we’re still in the hunt and we want to win league.”

Both teams will be in action Friday night. Atascadero will head to SLO to take on the Tigers while the Bearcats will be in Santa Maria to face St. Joseph.

photos by Jasmine Murphy


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