Atascadero Boys Soccer Goes 10-0-2 in Ocean League
ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Boys Soccer team is the 2021 undefeated Ocean League Champions after defeating Mission Prep at home last night 2-0 to finish the year 10-0-2. Not only did the Hounds finish the season without a single loss, but they tied the first two games of the season and finished out their schedule with ten straight wins and will roll into the CIF Central Section playoffs as hot as any team in the State.
This is Atascadero’s third season under head coach Gary Setting, and after finishing consecutive seasons with the league championship just outside their grasp, this season, the Greyhounds left no doubt.
“It means a lot because it is really about them,” Setting said on the field following the game Tuesday. “These boys have worked so hard to get to this point. Every year we set out as League Champs as the goal, and we’ve come up a game short a couple years in a row, and then this year, they came out and finished it.”
The Greyhounds are currently the no. 12 ranked team in the entire Central Section and fourth in Division 2, according to MaxPreps.com. After a rocky start, which should be expected in this particular season, especially for sports where extreme fitness is needed, the boys in Orange were a runaway freight train. Atascadero recorded four shutouts and seven games in their final ten games where the opposition scored one goal or less. In total, the Hounds allowed 13 goals this season.
While Atascadero’s defense held teams to the bare minimum on one side, the offense would explode on the other. The boys lead the Ocean League in scoring with 37 goals this season, 12 more goals than the closest team in the Ocean and five more than Santa Maria, who won the Mountain League.
“We had some close games along the way that we were able to win, but they played well, and they figured out how they wanted to play, they understood the style of game they wanted to play and were just fortunate enough to have been unbeaten,” Setting said humbly.
This team is the perfect culmination of hard work and dedication. When Setting was hired three years ago, he brought up many of the seniors and juniors that dominated the field this season, and the group grew together, paid their dues, and then set the league on fire.
This season Atascadero was led offensively by one of their team captains and the eventual league MVP in Martin Anguiano, who scored an astounding 16 goals this season. Helping Anguiano find all the crevices in the defense was fellow captain Julio Lopez, who dished out 12 assists while recording his own goals. All in all, Atascadero had ten different players put a ball in the back of the net for them this season which includes seven that scored three or more.
The Hounds will now play the waiting game to see if they earned a first-round bye in the CIF-CS playoffs. The playoffs brackets could be announced as early as Thursday night.