High School Sports

Local soccer teams open play at Cats and Hounds Tournament

Mission Prep’s Jacob Christian passes during the Royals’ loss to Mayfair at the Cats and Hounds Tournament on Friday in Paso Robles.
Mission Prep’s Jacob Christian passes during the Royals’ loss to Mayfair at the Cats and Hounds Tournament on Friday in Paso Robles. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

After defeating Morro Bay to open the season and winning by forfeit against Orcutt Academy, the Atascadero boys soccer team won its third game in a row to open the season Friday afternoon in the first round of the Cats and Hounds Tournament in Paso Robles.

Atascadero trailed at halftime 1-0 against Cabrillo, but two second half goals by Alex Marca propelled the Greyhounds to the win.

“Today, the ability to come from a 1-0 deficit and stick it out and score two goals to secure a victory says a lot about the team’s character and willingness to fight for one another and fight for the win,” Atascadero coach J.T. Camp said.

Four more SLO County teams were also in action on Friday.

Coast Union (2-0-1) pulled out a dramatic shootout win (4-3) over Bellarmine after regulation ended with a 0-0 tie.

Paso Robles was on the opposite end of another penalty shootout against Madera South. The Bearcats fell 2-1 in the shootout after the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

“Our defense is pretty solid,” Paso Robles coach Omar McPherson said. “We are not giving up a lot of goals. We have played three games and only given up two goals so that’s a good sign.”

The Bearcats (0-1-2) have yet to see a win after 1-1 ties against Nipomo and Orcutt Academy to open the season in part due to the play of sophomore keeper Victor Rodriguez.

“He was giving a senior a run for his money last year,” McPherson said. “A few more years with him is absolutely great.”

Nipomo (0-2-1) and Mission Prep (1-2) suffered shutout losses to open the tournament. Mission Prep lost 4-0 to Mayfair and Nipomo fell to Dos Pueblos 6-0.

“We have a good core of strong personalities and players on our team,” first-year Mission Prep head coach Julian Alvarez said. “But our weakness is that they’re young.”

The Royals have four seniors on the team and a few players trying soccer for the first time, Alvarez said.

Last season Mission Prep and Atascadero finished at the bottom the PAC 8, far behind league champion Pioneer Valley. This season, the Greyhounds (3-0) along with Pioneer Valley (2-0) and San Luis Obispo (2-0) are the only undefeated teams in the league.

Santa Ynez and Lompoc sit atop the Los Padres League early in the season with 2-1 record. Morro Bay is at 0-1-1 early on.

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