Several San Luis Obispo County prep athletes opened the NCAA’s National Letter of Intent Signing Day on Wednesday for soccer, track and field, cross country and boys water polo having already committed to continue their careers in college.
Nipomo High girls soccer star Kaitlynn Penner, an all-PAC 7 first-team selection a year ago, signed her letter of intent at Nipomo High with South Carolina State, a Division I program in Orangeburg, S.C. that went 10-7-3 this past season.
“I’m really excited — I always wanted to play Division I soccer,” Penner said. “I just really liked the program, the campus and the team in general.”
Penner was unsure of exactly where the Bulldogs will play her but said they were looking for help at her right fullback position.
Two other county soccer stars had also committed to Division I programs during this signing period, which ends Aug. 1.
Also on the girls side, Mission Prep’s Kori Disarufino had committed to Nevada, while Atascadero boys star Alex Aguiar was UC Davis-bound. Jamie Council, an Atascadero girls soccer standout, had verbally committed to Division II Cal State San Bernardino.
Meanwhile, Point Loma Nazarene, an NAIA power in San Diego, had earlier secured commitments from Atascadero’s Bryce Cherry in baseball and Paso Robles’ Jacob Moore in cross country.
Cherry, the reigning county player of the year, will celebrate his commitment with a signing ceremony on Friday morning at Atascadero High.
Arroyo Grande 2, San Luis Obispo 1
After the Eagles had already taken a 2-0 lead, Pat Robinson scored in the 81st minute on a penalty kick for the Tigers (5-4 PAC 7).
“We weren’t able to create enough opportunities,” San Luis Obispo coach Johnny Costa said. “We need to learn how to score against top teams.”
Righetti 4, Atascadero 0
Righetti (9-0 PAC 7), the No. 5-ranked team in Division V of the CIF-Southern Section, got out to an early 2-0 first-half lead and held on down the stretch.
Sean Gorman had 13 saves for the Greyhounds (7-11-4, 1-7-1 PAC 7).
“We played a really good team and the boys never gave up,” Atascadero coach Andrew Wilkie said.
Nipomo 4, Pioneer Valley 1
After an early 1-0 deficit, the Titans (6-8-3, 3-5-1 PAC 7) got two goals from Ruby Navarro and one each from Penner and Dana Leyva.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Arroyo Grande 13, Atascadero 2
Katie Sverchek, Stephanie Stern and Alexa May scored three goals each for Arroyo Grande (20-1, 10-0 PAC 7), the top-ranked team in Division IV of the Southern Section.
Briana Lippert had five saves and left Atascadero scoreless in the first two quarters.
Santa Maria 11, Morro Bay 7
Megan Long led the Pirates with three scores, while Dani Churchill, Ari Ball, Mel Freeborn and Candice Milbourne also tallied in defeat. Churchill had 12 saves for Morro Bay (5-12, 1-4 Los Padres League).