All it takes is one good shot.
And the Nipomo Titans got that shot late in the first half of Wednesday night’s non-league girls soccer match against south San Luis Obispo County rival Arroyo Grande on a chilly night at Nipomo High.
Arroyo Grande controlled the action throughout but that didn’t show up on the scoreboard as the teams battled to a 1-1 tie.
The Titans were able to manage just one shot in the first half, a quick strike the put the Titans up 1-0 with 13:05 left in the half.
The Titans Jackie Lopez sent long pass to Frida Skaarnaes, an exchange student from Norway, and Skaarnaes lofted a shot from 25-yards out over the outstretched arms of Arroyo Grande goal keeper Grace Weidler.
“One shot — that’s how it goes sometimes,” said Nipomo head coach Mark Rubio. “We’ve been building our team all season so we’re ready for the Los Padres League season. It’s a young team, and we’re getting everyone into the game.”
The Titans held that advantage until midway through the second half when the Eagles’ Jocelin Martinez sent a corner kick most of the way across the field that caught Allie Palangi in stride for a rocket shot past Nipomo keeper Beyonce Diaz.
And that was it as far as scoring went.
That didn’t mean there was a lack of action.
The Eagles took 16 shots — eight in each half — but Diaz stonewalled A.G. for most of the game, including several from point blank range.
“We have a ton of speed and we used that to our advantage,” said Arroyo Grande coach John Clarke. “But when you hit the crossbar four times on four breakaways, it’s frustrating. It’s not a loss but it definitely feels like one.”
The Titans picked up their pace in the second half, getting off five shots that were all turned aside by Weidler.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said Rubio. “We were missing six girls — five starters. Three are injured and the other three are traveling with their families for the holidays. We only had two subs on the bench and when one of our girls pulled a hamstring in the first half, we were down to just one possible substitute.”
Palangi had A.G.’s only shot of the first 10 minutes of the game.
Until then, the two teams battled back and forth.
Palangi’s shot got the Eagles’ offense going.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Eagles put six more shots on goal including point blank breakaway shots by Kiley Johnson and Ashlee Linane. On both, Diaz got position, making great saves on each.
Nipomo kept fighting hard and finally broke through on Skaarnaes’ long, arching shot.
Although the teams played most of the second half on Nipomo’s side of the field, the Titans defense was up to the task until Palangi rifled the game tying goal.
“We work a lot on set plays like that at practice,” said Clarke. “Today it worked.”
The Eagles had an excellent chance to break the tie when they got a free kick with 3-minutes left in the game.
Diaz blocked that shot but the rebound went back to Arroyo Grande. Palangi had another chance but the ball sailed over the net.
Arroyo Grande (1-1-4) has the next 10 days off before the Eagles host Santa Barbara on Saturday, Dec. 30.
“It’s a recurring theme — all those ties — but at least we didn’t lose,” said Clarke. “It’s a growing experience. We have five freshmen, two sophomores, nine juniors and only three seniors. It’s a great group of girls.”
Nipomo (2-4-2) is off until the new year when they open Los Padres League play on Tuesday, Jan. 2 against Santa Ynez at Nipomo High.