Templeton ties game with five minutes left

TEMPLETON — Friday night featured the second matchup between the Templeton and Atascadero boys soccer team this season and the Eagle boys needed an additional twenty minutes plus penalty shots to complete their comeback to win 3-1. 

The first game between these two teams also came down to the wire when the Eagles won 2-1 at Memorial Stadium in Atascadero on January 9 and this game was even better. This game was a borderline must-win for the Hounds who already have two Ocean League losses, although they did hand the Nipomo Titans their only league loss who are currently in first,  and they came out and played like it early on Friday night. 

Atascadero sophomore captain Julio Caro breaks free from the Eagle defense on Friday night. (photos by Connor Allen)

In just the third minute of the game, Atascadero earned their first corner kick and a perfectly placed pass by sophomore Julio Caro floated to junior midfielder Martin Anguiano who placed it into the back of the net for the shockingly quick goal. 

The game was played at a frenetic pace for its entirety as both teams would reel long counter attempts off of periods of possession which is exactly how the Eagles tied the game back up. Just as he did in the first matchup between these two teams, Templeton’s Paul Schram set up camp in the Greyhounds goalbox and just made things happen. Several minutes after the Hounds goal, Schram found himself in the right spot and scored his second goal against his rivals this year and tied the game back up at 1-1. 

For the next 15 minutes, the Hounds began knocking on the door of the Templeton defense but it remained shut. The Greyhounds had the advantage in corner kicks and balls bouncing off the bar but could not finish in the final third until they drew a direct kick that junior Ryan Bianco buried in the back of the net. 

Templeton senior captain Jerret Tachovsky dribbles away from traffic.

Templeton went into the half down 2-1 but never wavered. The Eagles entered the game fresh off their first loss after six straight victories to start the league season and as reigning league champions they are battle-tested. Eagles head coach Dale Wiggins made one substitute at halftime, bringing in keeper sophomore Brendan Gabler for Jack Shorrock who was ill, and he made the most of his opportunity. 

Atascadero led 2-1 all through the second half until a throw-in with just five minutes left in the game sailed all the way to the back post to a patiently waiting Eagle who scored to tied it up at 2-2. 

Both teams battled through the first and second overtime periods to a scoreless draw and penalty kick shootouts. Both teams confidently scored their first shots, but one would be the only goal the Hounds would get as the Eagles would pick up the 3-1 win. Jerret Tachovsky, Paul Schram, Abe Glossner and John Nicholson each made their attempted penalties while the Hounds missed two off of frame and Gabler blocked the other. 

The Templeton Eagles are now 8-7 on the season but more importantly 6-2 in the Ocean League with only four games to go. The Nipomo Titans are currently in first place at 6-1 and beat Templeton 1-0 on December 12 but will have to face the Eagles one more time on January 31 in what could decide the league title. 

Templeton will next play at home on February 4 when they host Morro Bay or senior night.

With the loss, the Hounds are now 8-10-2 and entrenched in third place in the Ocean League at 5-3. There is still an outside shot that the Hounds could tie for the league title but they would need some help and certainly win the rest of their games. Atascadero will face Nipomo on January 21. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles