Interesting might not be the right word to describe what took place in last night's boys soccer game between Grandview and Sunnyside.
Both varsity squads were without the services of their head coaches for last night's Mid-Valley League encounter. Greyhound Coach Anne Holden was unable to be part of last night's game because of work commitments. Grizzly head coach Juan Pineda began serving the first of a two-game suspension.
Sunnyside won last night's game 3-0 in what was the most aggressive showing of the season from the Grizzlies. While the Greyhounds in all honestly played well, they looked lost at times without their leader.
Last night's game was brutal at times as the Grizzlies went through much of the game looking like they were agitated about what happened to their coach.
Luis Galvan found the back of the net for the Grizzlies at the 25th minute of the first half. Teammate Mario De La Torre had the assist on the goal by Galvan. Two minutes later, Sunnyside's Junior Garcia scored off an assist by Joel Jimenez. Leading 2-0 at the break, Garcia scored another goal for Sunnyside 38 minutes into the second half. Teammate Diego Mendoza recorded the assist on the goal.
Sunnyside outshot Grandview 9 to 4 on goal. Grizzly keeper Johnny Hernandez recorded five saves. Grandview keeper Juan Pacheco played outstanding despite giving up three goals. Pacheco had some huge saves in the first half on his way to finishing with six saves.
Sunnyside assistant coach Gabriel Darbyson, who took over coaching duties for Pineda, said he was worried the Grizzlies were going to come out soft following what happened Tuesday at West Valley. Darbyson said he was very pleased with how the Grizzlies responded in what was a very physical game.
"They stepped up to it and played their game," said Darbyson.
Darbyson said coaching the varsity team was a new experience for him as well. He said he was very impressed that the Grizzlies needed little coaching during the game.
"That is a testament to the players' skills and Pineda's coaching," said Darbyson.
Both teams battled for position early in the first half, but Darbyson felt the momentum really started to switch late in the first half after the Grizzlies scored. Where Sunnyside excelled in taking away the game from Grandview was not allowing the Greyhounds to be effective with their spacing. Grandview could often be found in the second half crowded up on one side of the field.
"In the first half, we were giving them too much space to move the ball," said Darbyson.
Darbyson felt Sunnyside did a good job in the second half of dictating the pace of the game.
Darbyson pointed out that Sunnyside forward Mario De La Torre had a particularly solid game. Darbyson said De La Torre did a nice job of controlling his game and keeping Grandview off balance on defense.
The Grizzlies (3-1, 5-1) will have to go into another important Mid-Valley League match-up this Saturday at home against Hanford without the services of their head coach.
Darbyson said he is looking forward to Saturday and going up against the undefeated Falcons.
"Hanford is aggressive," said Darbyson. "They have good ball control. But Sunnyside is known to be adaptable to any style of play."
Holden said she very much wanted to be in attendance at last night's game, but was unable to do so because Grandview, where she is a teacher, was holding district parent conferences.
Holden said she hasn't had an opportunity to watch the game film yet, but her assistant coach told her the game was very physical.
The Greyhounds (3-3, 3-4) will now be preparing for Saturday's league game at home against West Valley.
"They (West Valley) really are not the team they were in the past," said Holden. "They work hard."
Holden said the key for Grandview will be that it needs to stay on top of its man-to-man tracking. Holden said West Valley will break a team if the Rams are able to exploit mismatches.
Michael Kantman/Daily Sun News
Sunnyside's Mario DeLa Torre plays a ball off his chest in last night's game against Grandview. Also pictured is Grandview's Kevin Glasenapp (#11).