St. Joseph's girls soccer team started its 2018 PAC 8 League campaign by going 0-4.
Things improved for the Knights in their next few games, but at the halfway point in the league campaign they were 2-5.
Things have changed a lot since then for the Knights — for the better. St. Joseph nipped second-place Arroyo Grande 1-0 at the Knights' Jay Will Stadium Monday night for their third straight win.
The Knights (8-7-1, 5-4-0) solidified their spot in fifth place, just behind fourth-place Paso Robles (6-3-1, PAC 8).
Corby Burress scored the lone goal of the Arroyo Grande-St. Jospeh game. St. Joseph goalkeeper Analea Pua made 12 saves.
The top four league teams at the end of the regular season will be guaranteed playoff spots. St. Joseph will play a PAC 8 game at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Atascadero.
Santa Ynez 2, Cabrillo 0
The Pirates' defense still hasn't allowed a goal in the 2018 Los Padres League campaign, and Santa Ynez moved to 13-1-0, 10-0-0 with a win at Cabrillo.
Aile Urive scored on a corner kick in the first half, and Sarah Johnson, with a Julia Pritchard assist, tallied in the 62nd minute.
Santa Ynez goalkeeper Breanna Rodrigues made two saves.
The Pirates became the first area winter season sports team to clinch a playoff spot when they defeated Morro Bay 5-0 Friday.
Paso Robles 3, Pioneer Valley 1
Ivanna Gonzales scored the lone goal for the Panthers (3-15-2, 3-6-1), who lost a PAC 8 League game at Paso Robles (11-5-3, 6-3-1).
Pioneer Valley goalkeeper Sara Rodriguez made four saves.
Lompoc 4, Santa Maria 1
Ayziah Simmons, Marina Tamayo, Bri Gaona and Selina Garcia all tallied for the Braves, who ran their record to 9-4-2, 8-2-1 with a Los Padres League win at home over the Saints ((4-10-1, 2-7-1).
The Braves have clinched a playoff spot.
Nipomo 3, Orcutt Academy 2 (Overtime)
The Titans (3-16-0, 2-8-0), edged the Spartans (4-11-2, 1-9-0) in a Los Padres League game at Nipomo.
Kaden Bennett scored the Orcutt goals on free kicks.
Pioneer Valley 4, Paso Robles 2
The Panthers (14-5-2, 6-3-1) moved into a third-place tie with the Bearcats (12-4-6, 6-3-1) with a PAC 8 League win at Pioneer Valley.
Righetti (6-4-0) slipped into fifth place with a 5-0 loss at second-place San Luis Obispo. Pioneer Valley needs at least a fourth-place finish at the end of the regular season to get a guaranteed playoff spot. The Panthers have four league games left.
Rigoberto Maldonado scored two goals and had an assist for the Panthers, who scored four unanswered goals after trailing 1-0 at halftime.
Jesse Morales and Sebastian Melchor had a goal apiece for the Panthers. Josue Chavez had two assists and David Mora had one.
Cabrillo 2, Santa Ynez 0
The Conquistadores defeated the Pirates in a Los Padres League game at Santa Ynez. No details were available.
Cabrillo 65, Santa Ynez 30
Erin Jenkins scored 21 points and her younger sister, Jessie Jenkins had nine as the Conquistadores (18-2, 10-0) breezed past the Pirates (7-10, 5-5) at Cabrillo to clinch a playoff spot and stay unbeaten in Los Padres League play.
Morgan McIntire scored eight points for Cabrillo. Alyssa Stewart made four steals.
Lompoc 61, Santa Maria 18
Danielle Morgan racked up 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Braves (12-8, 7-3) routed the Saints (7-10, 1-9) in a Los Padres League game at Lompoc.
Morgan also had five steals and three blocks. Alyssa Grossi added 10 points for Lompoc. Bella Robles had nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Mya Mendoza added nine points and five assists.
Righetti 64, San Luis Obispo 39
The Warriors (19-1, 10-0) won this PAC 8 League game handily at their Warrior Gym and clinched a playoff berth.
Righetti kept its two-game lead over second-place Arroyo Grande. Each team has four league games left.
Zane Sheckherd popped in 16 points for Righetti. Malia Cabigon put in 13 points and Alijah Paquet had nine.
Arroyo Grande 60, St. Joseph 51
Kathleen Hutchens popped in 25 points and Jayci Bayne had 14 as the Eagles moved to 14-7, 8-2 with a PAC 8 League win at St. Joseph's Hofschulte Gym.
For St. Joseph, Jenna Patel matched Hutchens' 25 points and Sam Brackett added 11. The Knights are 7-14, 4-6.
Nipomo 56, Orcutt Academy 39
Simonson sisters Clarissa and Shantille combined for 29 points and Abby Gutierrez scored 11 more as the Titans (10-12, 5-5) moved into a tie for fourth place with Santa Ynez with a Los Padres League win at Lakeview Junior High School.
The top four league teams at the end of the regular season will be guaranteed playoff spots. Nipomo has four LPL games left.
The Spartans are 10-9, 2-8.
Cabrillo 76, Santa Ynez 72
The Conquistadores (13-5, 10-0) held off the Pirates (9-5, 7-3) at Santa Ynez and stayed unbeaten in Los Padres League play. Cabrillo also clinched a playoff spot.
LeAndew Knight poured in 33 points for the Conqs, and Austin Olsen had 19. Eddy Little added eight.
Zack Hewitt and Ryan Rennick scored 22 points apiece for the Pirates. Merek Mercado put in 18.
Lompoc 62, Santa Maria 59
The Braves (10-13, 7-3) completed a sweep of their two-game season series with the Saints (13-7, 6-4), edging Santa Maria at the Saints' Wilson Gym and moving past the Saints and into a tie with Santa Ynez for second place in the LPL.
Jordan Tyler put in 24 points for the Braves. Andrew Villa added 12.
Paso Robles 57, Pioneer Valley 56
The Bearcats (6-11, 4-6) nipped the Panthers (13-10, 4-6) in a PAC 8 League game at Pioneer Valley, moving into a tie for fifth place with the home team and ending the Panthers' three-game winning streak.
D.J. Martinez and Jayden Jones scored 10 points apiece for the Panthers. Martinez fouled out in the fourth quarter. Steven Fuerte added 10 points.
Sebastian Galsim scored a game-high 21 points for the Bearcats. Anthony Napoli had 12.
Nipomo 72, Orcutt Academy 60
Brandon Rios scored 21 points, and the Titans (6-10, 4-6) beat the Spartans (4-15, 0-10) in a Los Padres League game at Nipomo.
Daren Sosa put in 18 points for the Titans. Carmelo Hernandez grabbed 15 rebounds and scored nine points. Kenny Johnson snared seven rebounds and doled out six assists.
Arroyo Grande 55, St. Joseph 54
Caleb Whalen, with an A.J. Panetta assist, scored at the buzzer to give the Eagles (14-8, 7-3) over the Knights (13-10, 6-4) at Arroyo Grande's James Gymnasium.
Panetta grabbed an offensive rebound right before he passed to Whalen who scored the winning basket.
Whalen snapped a 51-51 tie when he made a layup after making a steal. Michael Chavez hit a 3-point shot with 20 seconds left to put the Knights up 54-53.
Bryan Smith led Arroyo Grande's scoring with 19 points. He had four rebounds. Whalen scored 14 points for the Eagles and Robert Hutchens had 12. Panetta had eight assists.
College baseball (Sunday)
Hancock 6, Cabrlllo 1
The Bulldogs are off to a 3-0 start for the second time in three years.
Hancock freshman Zach Torra struck out 10 in six innings, and Daniel Curiel racked up a career-high four hits in an 18-hit Hancock attack.
Torra, a Santa Ynez graduate, scattered three hits and allowed one unearned run in his Hancock debut. He struck out hte side in the second and ifth innings. Torra yielded three walks.
Phil Almanza pitched two shutout innings of relief, and Dylan Maiden retired the side in order in the ninth. The three Hancock pitchers combined on a five-hitter.
Curiel drove in two runs. Four other Bulldogs, including Ismael Hernandez, Reed Odland, Quinntin Perez and Brian Dowell, had multi-hit games. Hernandez and Odland both went 3-for-4. Perez and Dowell each had two hits.
Hancock will finish its four-game homestand Thursday with a 2 p.m. game at John Osborne Field.