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Boys soccer

The early-season struggles continued for Santa Ynez, which suffered a tight 2-1 loss at Cate School on Dec. 12 and then returned home a day later and was blanked by visiting Santa Barbara.

The Pirates jumped to a 1-0 lead against Cate, but were unable to hold on as the hosts evened the match shortly before the break and then scored the winner midway through the second half. They were unable to get much of anything going the next night against the Dons in a 2-0 loss that dropped them to 1-3-2 on the season.

Santa Ynez controlled the tempo early against Santa Barbara, which led to a few shots on goal. Unfortunately for the Pirates, none of those attempts found the net. Daniel Gail had a header stopped by Santa Barbara goalkeeper Alberto Hernandez in the first 10 minutes, and Romario Diaz took a shot from about 15 yards out that was thwarted with a diving save by Hernandez a couple minutes later, as the teams played to a scoreless tie over the first half. Santa Barbara took control in the second half with two goals in the first 10 minutes.

The Pirates, who opened Los Padres League play at Lompoc on Dec. 18, will get another chance to right the ship at home against San Marcos on Thursday, Dec. 20, before taking off for the holiday break.

Girls water polo

Santa Ynez had a potential game-winning shot ricochet off the post in the final seconds of regulation, and then went on to lose in overtime in its home pool on Dec. 13 against Atascadero.

The 9-7 loss was just the second of the season for the Pirates, whose record was 7-2 going into their LPL opener at Santa Maria, which was slated to take place after press time on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Against Atascadero, Santa Ynez got three goals apiece from Sophie Stanfield and Leah Parlato. The day before that match, the Pirates rebounded from a first-half deficit and picked up a 10-8 win at Cate. Parlato, Stanfield and Reagan Mroz each finished with three goals in that victory.

Following the holiday break, Santa Ynez will compete in a varsity tournament at Arroyo Grande on Jan. 4-5.

Girls soccer

Santa Ynez suffered a pair of heartbreaking road losses on back-to-back days at San Marcos and Santa Barbara on Dec. 12-13.

The Pirates were shut out by San Marcos in a 1-0 loss, and then stymied again in a 2-1 setback the next day at Santa Barbara. The defeats dropped Santa Ynez to 2-4-1 on the season. Senior Kat Rocha scored the Piratesí lone goal against the Dons, while goalkeeper Alyssa Beamer finished with two saves.

Santa Ynez will be back on the road to take on Morro Bay on Thursday, Dec. 20, before competing in the Excalibur Tournament Dec. 27-29.

Boys basketball

Junior forward Clinton Andersonís strong finish helped Santa Ynez pick up its second victory of the season, a 44-33 verdict at Orcutt Academy on Dec. 13.

Anderson finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the win, including 10 of each in the deciding fourth quarter. Chase Sanchez added nine points for the Pirates, who suffered a 65-24 loss against Rio Mesa on Dec. 14 in the Jim Bayshore Classic Tournament at Carpinteria. They followed up that loss with a 67-27 setback against Arroyo Grande the next night.

Santa Ynez will open LPL play at home against Nipomo on Thursday, Dec. 20.