Bearcats and Eagles faceoff: Late goal forces a tie

PASO ROBLES—  Paso Robles and Templeton faced off Tuesday night in both boys and girls soccer. The boy's teams played at Templeton High School while the girls played on the brand new turf at Paso Robles High School.

The Templeton girls came into the game with a 2-0 record after defeating both Coast Union and Pioneer Valley the previous week. The Eagles entered the game confident after scoring a ludicrous amount of goals when they beat the Broncos 10-0 in Cambria. Seven different Eagles scored at least one goal, and two others finished with at least one assist. Freshman led the way for Templeton with Merran Grindley at the head of the pack with three goals and Sienna Sagely next with two goals. All but one of the goals came from an underclassman, which bodes well for the Eagles going forward.

The Bearcats entered the game coming off a rough weekend in the Harold S. Young Tournament in Clovis.

“We struggled a little bit,” Paso Head Coach Dillion Simoulis said. “We lost two and tied one. We started a little rough but the girls finished pretty strong at the end and I was happy with that.”

In the first game of the tournament, Paso Robles faced Central High School and lost 3-1 and played Centennial in their second game, falling 3-0. In their third and final game, the Bearcats tied Madera South 2-2.

The game between the Eagles and Bearcats was a tightly-contested, intense match. Possession was never clearly established by one team for more than a couple minutes before the ball would switch ends of the field. Templeton was playing without a couple of their starters and the Bearcats subbed throughout the game to keep their girls fresh.

For 72 minutes the game was scoreless and the keepers remained mostly untested until Marissa Ezzell gained possession inside the 18-yard box for just enough time to turn and rip a shot. The frostbitten crimson crowd suddenly arose in applause as the girls embraced one another just a few feet away from the spot Ezzell struck the ball.

However, the celebration did not last long. In the 86th minute, Templeton Freshman Emily Puita broke free from the Bearcat defense long enough to fire a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. This time all those wearing green and white took their opportunity to cheer and praise the effort of their girls.

The game ended just a few minutes later in a 1-1 tie and all the players from both teams met at centerfield. What started as an intense rivalry game ended with hugs, smiles, and pictures.

“Games against Templeton are always rough because we are rivals” Bearcat Senior keeper Alexis Serna Castillo said. “So it is always really fun and really intense. I always love to see the crowd get riled up.”

The Bearcats and the Eagles don't play in the same league so the game has very little significance on the season a whole, but is a great building block going forward for both teams.

“I thought the girls played well,” Coach Simoulis said after the game. “Templeton is a decent team and I think we moved the ball the way we wanted to so I was happy with that. A little disappointed in the little mistake at the end that cost us the win but all-in-all we are moving in the right direction to prepare for league.”

Coach Mario Perez, of the Eagles, was also very pleased with his team earning a tie while playing without some of their starters.

“I really liked the game,” Perez said.  “We were missing a couple of people. We were missing our goalkeeper, our starting forward, and one of our midfielders, but other than that I feel good about the game. It was an intense game.”


© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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