After five games, the losing came to a halt for the Cabrillo boys soccer team at Nipomo High.
Led by two goals in the final 25 minutes including a climactic one by Eli Pellot, the Conquistadores held on for the 2-1 victory at NHS on Thursday, ending their 0-4-1 start.
Pellot, a junior, found himself sandwiched between two Nipomo High defenders in an all-out sprint for the soccer ball – and with the net right in front of the Conquistador. He blasted his right leg into the ball with all his might – getting the ball to float in the air before rolling into the left side of the net.
That goal broke the 1-1 tie with less than six minutes to go in the second half. The clinching goal became a sigh of relief for the Conqs after a rough five-game start. Yet, Pellot didn’t want the light to shine on him for breaking the even game.
“Noe Gaona hit me with a good pass and I was just able to take it from there,” Pellot said. “It was the whole team (that won). Not me. Everyone is happy right now.”
The game was scoreless for all of the first period. The field was also wet, damp and muddy in certain spots due to the early downpour of rain during the day. Once the rain stopped cold and brisk weather then helped provide the conditions for this non-league contest.
Before Pellot’s goal, Nate Cadena drew contact and a foul near the NHS net. He was set up for the penalty kick – and used his right leg to tack on the first goal of the evening for CHS.
“I saw the keeper was standing in the middle of the goal instead on one of the separate sides. So I decided to just tuck it instead of hitting just hard over the ball,” Cadena said.
Nipomo managed to tie things up at 1-1 by smashing its own penalty kick into the net. That goal arrived with less than 15 minutes in the second half.
But in the end, it was CHS finally getting over its slow start and celebrating victory No. 1 – which included taking a team photograph after the contest.
“It’s a big morale booster for the team to be able to get that win,” Cadena said. “Hopefully it’s a domino effect and for the rest of the season we can keep pushing on.”
Head coach Oscar Torres said that the first five games were a challenge for this much younger CHS team; one that features just five seniors and four freshmen.
“Looking at a roster that’s young, it’s a mind thing when you don’t have depth on the roster. We’re lacking in a bit of talent, but these boys are working,” Torres said. “Everybody is stepping up and it’s going to make this season better for us.
“This is very, very relieving. It shows that we can do it, we can come out and play and we’ve been preparing ourselves for league. So this is going to be motivational for the boys and keep up moving forward.”
Cabrillo 5, Nipomo 1
The rain and slick grass didn’t ruin Cabrillo’s home debut on Thursday afternoon.
Naomi Wiley delivered the hat trick with three goals. Brooklynn Gregory and Lauren Pulido also scored for the now 2-2-1 Conqs.
Cabrillo also debut its new gold home uniforms for its contest against a former LPL opponent.
St. Joseph 3, Mission Prep 0
Corby Burress scored twice for the Knights while Karina Plata added the other for SJHS at Jay Will Stadium on Thursday night.
Analea Pule had four saves and got her second shutout of the season. The Knights improved to 3-1 overall.
Santa Ynez 52, Trinity Classical Academy 37
FILLMORE — The Santa Ynez Pirates ran out to a 19-7 first quarter lead in their first game of the annual Fillmore.
But the Knights of Valencia's Trinity Classical Academy stayed close the rest of the way but couldn't cut into that early lead.
Ryan Rennick led the Pirates with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Ryan Devitt added 11 points and three rebounds while Merek Mercado chipped in 10 points to go with five rebounds.
Henry Allen battled for 10 rebounds while scoring five points.
On Friday, Santa Ynez (5-3) will play the winner of the Fillmore/Kingman, Ariz., game.