San Luis Obispo's boys soccer team was unbeaten for the season going into this one, and the Tigers did not come close to taking loss number one in their inaugural Mountain League game.
The Tigers passed, scored and defended their way to a 5-0 win at Pioneer Valley in both teams' first Mountain League game since they moved to the CIF Central Section from the Southern Section earlier this year.
San Luis Obispo moved to 11-0-1, 1-0-0. The Panthers are 7-3-3, 0-1-0.
The outcome was pretty much a foregone conclusion from the time Brenden Rattigan took a well-place long pass from a Tigers' defender and scored in the eighth minute.
San Luis Obispo led 2-0 at halftime, and the Tigers broke the game open with goals in the second, 23rd and 25th minute of the second half. Branden Dolezal scored three goals for the Tigers.
"I have never seen a San Luis Obispo team like this," said Pioneer Valley coach Alan Brafman.
"They're super fast. They pass well, they defend well. They're very well-coached. Well disciplined. Just very good stuff all around."
The Panthers had several first-half highlights. Trouble was, they were all on defense.
Pioneer Valley goalkeeper Jorge Mendez made five saves before intermission, including two on close range shots in rapid succession. Edgar Diaz helped the Panthers' defense shut off several San Luis Obispo threats before intermission, and the Tigers let some good scoring opportunities go by the wayside.
The smooth-passing Tigers dominated possession time in the first half. The Panthers did not have a shot on goal before intermission.
As the first half was more lopsided than the score indicated, the second half was closer than the score indicated. The Tigers scored thrice after intermission, but the Panthers did get off some authoritative shots on goal.
San Luis Obispo goalkeeper Lucas Berryman made a diving save on one of them. Diaz did a good job of helping quarterback the Pioneer Valley offense.
Still, the Panthers were never really in it after Dolezal tallied in the second minute after the break for his second goal.
After the opening 10 minutes of the second half the Panthers held their own with the Tigers for a time, but then the home team seemed to run out of steam.
"There's still a long way to go, and my team has some time to improve," said Brafman.
"This was not a good night for my team."
The Panthers will host crosstown rival Righetti at 5 p.m. Tuesday in another Mountain League game.
Santa Maria 0, Orcutt Academy 0 (5-4 Santa Maria, penalty kicks)
Santa Maria goalkeeper Sara Rodriguez knocked in the fifth, and winning, goal for the Saints (5-6-0, 1-0-0) in the penalty kicks phase at Santa Maria's Ralph Baldiviez Stadium, and the Saints tagged the Spartans (10-1-4, 0-1-0) with their first loss of the year in this Mountain League opener.
In a rules change, area high school soccer league games will go to a penalty kicks phase if the game is tied after overtime. In another rules change, there is now a golden goal in overtime, with the first team scoring in overtime winning.
Ojai Villanova Prep 37, Valley Christian Academy 36
OJAI - Mayley DeBernardi scored 11 points and made four steals for the Lions (7-4) who lost a close non-league game Wildcats.
Grace Cose scored eight points and snared 10 rebounds for the Lions. Jenna Mason grabbed 11 rebounds. Heather Knutson scored eight points and made three steals.
"Heather defended their No. 1 scorer, who had really been tearing it up for them, and she did a really good job on her," said VCA coach Randy Stanford.
Pioneer Valley 59, Santa Maria 43
The Panthers (11-7, 5-0) rolled to a league win over the Saints(7-7, 2-3) in the Panthers' gym and stayed perfect in their first CIF Central Section Ocean League game.
Pioneer Valley led 41-29 with about 5:30 to go, and the Panthers gradually expanded their lead. Leticia Medina nailed a 3-pointer to put Pioneer Valley ahead 57-37 late.
Aalyah Moreno scored a game high 17 points for the Panthers. Ravynn Anielski had 12.
Iceis McNutt led the Saints with 16 points.
Templeton 73, Santa Maria 69
Thomas Segel popped in 36 points for the Saints (8-9 0-1) who lost to the Eagles at Templeton in the inaugural CIF Central Section Ocean League game for each team.
Both squads moved to the Central Section from the Southern Section earlier this year.
Genaro Morales scored 11 points for Santa Maria.