Hounds top Bearcats in the rain

Atascadero climbs to no. 8 in D1 rankings

PASO ROBLES — The Atascadero Greyhounds and Paso Robles Bearcats faced off for their rematch on Tuesday night. The first matchup between the two took place in Atascadero in frigid conditions and needed more than an hour’s worth of game time to be decided as the game went through overtime and into penalty kicks and saw the Hounds come out on top, 3-2. This time it was a bit warmer, but only because the game took place in the middle of a rainstorm, and again Atascadero was able to grind out a 1-0 victory.

The rain was coming down in sheets and it streaked past the lights at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night. The elements came in waves, for several minutes there would be heavy rain and wind followed by a lul. At times, the keepers could not even see their forwards while lining up for goal kicks. The rain was certainly a hindrance to both teams making it hard to complete a string of passes but helped neutralize the Greyhounds’ speed on the outside, which is what killed the Bearcats in the first meeting.

Just like the first game, this one was close throughout with the lone goal coming in the 26th minute of the first half when Atascadero senior Hailey Pires crossed a ball into the box to Kiana Subia who buried it in the goal.

“We were able to continue playing the same way in the second half and we had an opportunity to score but it didn’t materialize,” Atascadero head coach Miguel Figueroa said. “We are happy with the result in those weather conditions.”

The Bearcats had a couple chances to score the equalizer but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Just before the half, the crimson cats crossed a ball into the box that bounced around and was almost vollied by senior forward Giselle Zatarain but she just missed it and sent it spiraling away from the goal.

With the victory, Atascadero is now 14-4-4 on the season and 5-2 in the Ocean League. The Hounds have won four of their last five games and climbed all the way up to No. 8 in the Division 1 standings for the Central Sectio, according to Maxpreps.com.

“The strength of our girls is the camaraderie that they have and also the style of soccer that they play, they are comfortable with it,” Figueroa said of his team. “They are just enjoying the game, you know. There is a lot of unity, last year was really good too, but this year there is even more. The girls get along very well and there is no drama and I cannot express how happy I am with the girls’ behavior and performance.”

Atascadero went 4-2 in the first half of the Moutain League play and currently sit in third place behind San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande who each handed them one of their losses. The Mountain League is one of, if not the toughest leagues in Division 1 with SLO and AG leading in scoring during league play and also ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. However, the Hounds played both the Tigers and the Eagles on the road in the first half of league play and are very excited to get them at home in the second half.

The Hounds lost two starters to injuries in the second half against the Tigers and ended up losing 3-1 after being tied 1-1 at the half. Atascadero was also at a disadvantage when they played AG the first time around because senior goalkeeper Claire Lohayza was still recovering from a rib injury and played despite the fact that she could not dive.

The Bearcats currently sit in fourth place as they begin the second half of league play behind three top 10 teams in the division but are just a few bounces away from being a top team. Paso Robles is a team that nobody wants to see on their schedule, even though they are 3-4 in league, three of those four losses have come in overtime with the fourth one coming Tuesday in a driving rainstorm. The Lady Bearcats battled with the Tigers to a scoreless draw, losing 2-0 in overtime and pushed the Eagles to the brink before again falling in OT, 2-1.

Paso Robles will look to start their revenge tour Friday night as they welcome SLO to War Memorial stadium at 6 p.m.

Atascadero will travel to Santa Maria Friday night to play Pioneer Valley.


© 2019-Atascadero News

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