PASO ROBLES — Last week it was Atascadero vs. Paso. The rivals squared off in the gym, in the pool, and on the pitch. Friday night at War Memorial Stadium the Bearcats hosted both Greyhound soccer teams for a doubleheader and emerged victorious in both games.
The boys played first, defeating the Greyhounds 2-1 in overtime and the girls took the field next. The Hounds came into the game as the No. 10 ranked in Division 3, but the Bearcats defeated the San Luis Tigers a week ago when they were ranked as one of the top teams in the entire state.
It was a defensive battle that really highlighted both goalkeepers and their exceptional abilities. Only a few minutes into the game and Bearcat keeper Alexis Serna Castillo had already made two great saves.
While Atascadero controlled much of the possession, Paso Robles operated an efficient counter-attack. With 25 minutes to go in the first half, the Bearcats broke through with their first real chance when Madison Wineman passed to Elise Scheiffle, who had a one-on-one with Atascadero goalie Claire Lohayza.
Each time the Bearcats would get close, the Greyhounds would respond with several chances of their own but just could not get anything past Serna. Ali Andrade missed a header off the post and twice Atascadero had the ball just feet away from the goal but could not get a decent shot off.
In the twenty-fifth minute of the first half, the Bearcats mounted another counter-attack, this time lead by Giselle Zatarain. Zatarain came down the middle of the field, shot and scored in the bottom corner of the goal, giving the Bearcats the 1-0 lead over their bitter rivals.
The single goal is all the Bearcats would need as their defense played firmly all night. In the second half, the Greyhounds kept the pressure on the Paso but could not break through.
With the victory, the Bearcats are now 9-3-3 in league with wins over two of the top teams in the PAC 8 and the Greyhounds are 10-3-1. This week both teams will begin their second round of league play and both are still very much in contention for a spot in the CIF playoffs.
On Tuesday evening the Greyhounds defeated Pioneer Valley 3-1 and the Bearcats beat Righetti 3-0.