A goal in the seventh minute by Arroyo Grande’s Patrick Palangi was good enough to give the Eagles a 1-0 win over Paso Robles on Wednesday at Doug Hitchen Stadium.
The goal was set up by a smooth run down the left sideline by Arroyo Grande’s star midfielder Matthew Bautista. His shot deflected off a Bearcats defender right to Palangi who put it home. Bautista kept constant pressure on the Bearcats’ defense with his precise touches and speed in the second half to preserve the win.
“Like I tell him, he is definitely our best player,” Arroyo Grande coach Eliseo Romero said of Bautista. “It’s my job to find out where to put him where he can be most effective.”
Bautista, who missed the first seven games of the season while away playing club ball, moved from striker to an attacking wing player Wednesday for Arroyo Grande (7-4, 2-1 PAC 8).
“On my club team I play outside, so I’m really used to playing the line,” Bautista said. “I thought I did OK tonight.”
Paso Robles’ (6-5-4, 1-2 PAC 8) offensive attack surged at times in the second half and tallied 12 shots, but the Eagles defense made sure most of them were from 20 yards or farther.
Arroyo Grande travels to play Pioneer Valley on Friday and Paso Robles hosts Mission Prep.