ATWATER — Lee Shaw isn't afraid to change things on the fly.
The Golden Valley girls soccer coach took one look at Buhach Colony's soggy pitch on Wednesday afternoon and threw his original game plan out the window.
Figuring the wet field was going to make it difficult for either team to string together passes, Shaw turned to sending balls over the top for his speedy strikers to chase down.
It appeared to be the right call as Golden Valley opened Central California Conference play with a 2-0 victory over the Thunder.
"It was all about the tactics for the field today," Shaw said. "It's a small field to begin with. With the conditions I just felt like it was going to be tough to pass the ball in the middle, so we changed tactics right before the start of the game.
"I thought we executed it perfectly and our forwards gave them fits."
The move didn't elicit a lot of shots early, but there was plenty of pressure by the Cougars in the form of dangerous crosses and corner kicks.
That and a little bit of fortune led to the game's first goal as senior Alex Eber curled a corner kick in from the left wing in the 12th minute. The inswinging ball was allowed to hit the ground and bounced right into the net to give the Cougars (1-0 CCC, 5-2-2) a 1-0 lead.
Fresh off winning the Raider Cup Classic -- the first tournament title in school history -- Buhach Colony opted to try and build up through the middle.
It worked just fine for the Thunder (0-1 CCC, 6-2-1) in the opening 40 minutes as they outshot GV 8-2 in the first half.
BC's best chance to equalize came in the 19th minute when a good switch of the field found Jackie Reyes open with space on the right side of the box.
She fired a rocket off of the near post and then had her rebound attempt turned away by goalkeeper Mariah Hermosillo (four saves).
"We probably came back from the tournament a little overconfident," BC coach Jose Duran said. "We were playing pretty well in the first half, but one bad break put us behind.
"The good thing is it's just the first game of league and it gives us lots to learn."
The pace of Sara Callister took the wind out of BC's sails just 10 minutes into the second half.
After missing all of last season with a knee injury, the senior didn't appear to be missing a step as she won a footrace down the right wing in the 50th minute.
Callister outbattled the defender for the ball and then cut in along the touch line. The BC defender tried to recover, but ended up taking out Callister in the box with a hip check.
Eber stepped up and converted the penalty for her second goal of the game.
"After last year, we're excited to be healthy," Eber said. "We're hoping to get the championship and this was a good start."
Atwater 1, Turlock 0
TURLOCK -- Alyssa Ruiz netted the game's only goal as the Falcons (1-0 CCC, 6-2-3) opened conference play with a 1-0 victory over Turlock.
Pitman 3, Merced 0
TURLOCK -- Jessika McCleskey turned away six shots, but it wasn't enough as the Bears (0-1 CCC) fell to the Pride (1-0 CCC).
Buhach Colony 9, Madera South 0
ATWATER -- The scouts have started to flock to Atwater each time Daulton Jefferies toes the rubber for Buhach Colony.
He showed Madera South exactly why. The senior struck out 14 and allowed no walks in a complete-game no-hitter. He also picked up a pair of hits and drove in two as the Thunder improved to 5-1.
Golden Valley 9, Liberty Ranchos 0
The Cougars' Spencer Vierra doubled and drove in three, while J.T. Edmunds was 3-4 with a triple in a rout of visiting Liberty Ranchos.
Jerrod Hamblin allowed just four hits in six shutout innings for GV (4-2).