San Luis Obispo High girls soccer coach Kaleena Andruss couldn’t have asked for a better start in the first 30 minutes of a game between the Tigers and unbeaten Arroyo Grande on Friday.
Defender Taylor Wampler cleaned up a loose ball on a corner kick about 24 minutes in and connected with a right footer into the back of the net.
Four minutes later, midfielder Kelsey Harper blasted a shot from the right side that was still on the rise when it flew by the goalkeeper. That shot landed in the upper left corner of the net for the second score.
The Tigers (11-6-1, 4-0 PAC 7) were able to hold onto that early 2-0 lead the rest of the game to hand Arroyo Grande its first loss of the season.
The Tigers’ home win against the Eagles (9-1-6, 3-1-1) gives them sole possession of PAC 7 lead.
“It feels really good,” Andruss said. “We played a great first half and then really had solid D in the second. We have a well-rounded team and we really stepped up tonight.”
San Luis Obispo goalkeeper Lily McCann made two critical saves to keep the Tigers ahead in the first half and finished with five in the game.
In the match’s opening minutes, Eagles forward Mallory Flatebo had a good look at the goal from about 10 yards out after finding herself open on a cross.
Flatebo used a couple of touches to slam a left-footed shot that McCann dove and blocked with her right arm.
After San Luis Obispo’s second goal, the Eagles had another crack at the net that was stymied a few minutes later.
Flatebo found herself open on the wing and crossed the ball to forward Jane Summers, who took a shot that McCann dove for on the ground and wrapped up.
For San Luis Obispo, Wampler’s score marked her second of the season, and Harper notched her sixth goal of the year.
Wampler, a senior captain said her goal was extra special because, as a defender, she doesn’t get many chances and to do it against Arroyo Grande was a thrill.
“It was pretty exciting,” Wampler said. “This is my senior year and Arroyo Grande has been good every year I’ve been in high school. To beat them feels really good.”
The second half was highlighted by several close chances but no conversions at the net.
With about 23 minutes left, San Luis Obispo tried to build its lead with a left-footed flick by Lauren Hutkin that sailed wide.
A minute later, Arroyo Grande’s Lupita Leon gave Arroyo Grande one of its best chances with a left-footer that sailed on target above the head of McCann, who batted the ball down in front of her.
Trying to clean up, Summers charged at the ball for the Eagles but she was called for a foul for running into the goalkeeper after McCann scooped up the ball.
Then with about 17:40 left, Tigers sophomore striker Sydney Knauer, who passed the ball well and fought for loose balls throughout the contest, spun to the middle and cracked a shot that goalkeeper Sarah Doughty got a hand on.
The ball glanced behind her to her right side and ping-ponged off the post and the Eagles retrieved it, narrowly escaping going down 3-0.
In the final 10 minutes, Arroyo Grande had a couple of free kicks within range from beyond the 18-yard line but both shots flew off target.
“We missed some assignments on corners and they got that unfortunate first goal, and then (Harper) made a real nice play on the second goal,” Arroyo Grande coach Bob Wilson said. “We had multiple shots on goal, but they did a good job of not giving us really good chances. We’ll bounce back.”