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Grizzlies have trouble in Mid-Valley League opener

PROSSER - The Grizzlies had their fair share of problems last night in Sunnyside's Mid-Valley League opener against Prosser. But, after a scoreless first half, the Grizzlies post a couple of second half goals to win 2-1.

Sunnyside (1-0, 2-0) travels to Moses Lake this Thursday for a non-league game. This will be the third time the Grizzlies and the Chieftains have met, with each team posting a win.

As far as last night's game, Pineda said his Grizzlies struggled against Prosser's style. Pineda said the Mustangs are kind of an all or nothing team. He said Prosser liked to play off the long kicks last night.

"We didn't have our best game, but I am still happy that we won," said Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda.

Pineda said the Grizzlies had a lot of problems adjusting to Prosser in the first half. Pineda said the Mustangs would play off the long kick and just charge after the ball, causing Sunnyside problems in setting up its defense.

"Their long kick style kind of got us out of our way of playing," said Pineda. "That didn't allow our defense to come back with any control."

Pineda said also the Mustangs fouled a lot in the first half, which slowed down the tempo of the game. Pineda said the fouls were what is referred to as professional fouls in soccer with no kind of "dirty" play behind them. Pineda said the intent of the fouls was to slow down the game.

"Prosser hustled a lot," said Pineda. "I think our team came out a bit confident."

Pineda said his team did a lot better in the second half. Pineda said the Grizzlies were able to dictate the pace of the game following their first goal at the 53rd minute from Luis Galvan. Teammate Junior Garcia added another goal off a penalty kick at the 57th minute.

Prosser scored its lone goal at the 62nd minute when the Mustangs were able to bring Grizzly keeper Johnny Hernandez out of the box and score off a rebound shot.

After the Grizzlies scored, Prosser had to change its method of play, said Pineda, which allowed Sunnyside to gain more control of the field.

Statistically, the Grizzlies outplayed Prosser. Sunnyside out shot the Mustangs 17 to 8 on goal. The Grizzlies had five corner kicks to Prosser's one.

Hernandez had five saves in the box for Sunnyside. Pineda brought in junior keeper Rafael Martinez with about 10 minutes left in the game. Martinez had two saves.

Mustang goalie Eduardo Torres finished with 11 saves.

Pineda credits senior defender Luis Ochoa with making a lot of the plays on defense. Pineda said Ochoa came up out of the backfield and helped a lot of plays develop on the offensive end.

Pineda said his team will be ready to play at Prosser's pace the next time the two teams meet in Sunnyside on Tuesday, April 13.

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