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Bearcats battle for second

Modified: Friday, Feb 10th, 2017

Photos by Nicholas Mattson/Paso Robles Press Paso Robles High School junior Daniel Zavala heads the ball within a pack of Greyhounds during a PAC 8 contest against Atascadero. The Bearcats played last night for a possible tie for second place in the league.

Paso Robles boys soccer in heated race with Arroyo Grande in PAC 8

In what was slated to be little more than a celebratory senior night victory over the Mission Prep Royals, the Paso Robles High School varsity boys soccer team traveled to Santa Maria to play on a neutral field in what could vault them into a tie for second place with Arroyo Grande in the PAC 8 League standings.

An uphill climb over the previous 10 games put Paso Robles in reach of its best finish in more than a decade, and on track to challenge in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

The Bearcats almost put second place in their hands on Feb. 1 when they hosted Arroyo Grande in an overtime battle.

In the previous game against Arroyo Grande, the Bearcats took a 2-1 victory over the Eagles on the road. On Feb. 1, the overtime game went the Eagles’ direction, 2-1.

Resiliently, the Bearcats held their mud through overtime against the Righetti Warriors (5-7-1), to stay on the path to second place with a 1-0 win.

After Tuesday, Arroyo Grande held a game-and-a-half advantage over the Bearcats heading into Wednesday, but were up against first-place San Luis Obispo.

SLO defeated Arroyo Grande in a 3-2 battle on Arroyo Grande’s home field on Wednesday, giving Paso Robles the chance to tie for second in the PAC 8.

On Thursday, the Bearcats hosted the winless Mission Prep Royals (0-13 PAC 8, 0-16-1 overall), with some control of their destiny.

The Bearcats are likely to win their final game, but that alone will not secure their place in second. Atascadero needed to do the Bearcats a huge favor — beat Arroyo Grande on Thursday.

An Arroyo Grande loss would give Paso Robles a chance to even up the record with the Eagles. It is a safe bet that Bearcats’ fans had one eye on the game in Paso Robles, and the other eye on the game in Atascadero last night.

Results of Thursday’s matches were unavailable at press time.

CIF pairings will be announced on cifss.org on Monday at 9 a.m.

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