A hat trick by senior Micah Koopmans and three assists tallied by senior Luke Marx sparked the Sunnyside Christian High School boys soccer team to a 6-1 victory over visiting Boardman, Ore. yesterday afternoon.
Thursday's game closed out the Knights' non-league schedule. Sunnyside Christian (0-1, 5-3) embarks today on an eight-game swing through conference play with a 4 p.m. game at Riverside Christian. The Crusaders, like the Knights, are also 0-1 in league play.
"It's a big game tonight," SCHS Coach Russ Smies said early this morning.
Both clubs, he added, are looking to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play.
If the Knights are to be successful against the Yakima team this afternoon, they'll need to display the kind of teamwork they exhibited yesterday in their non-league finale of the season. Of the six goals scored by Sunnyside Christian yesterday, five were assisted. And most of those assists, said Smies, were the result of unselfish play.
A perfect example came on Sunnyside Christian's third goal of the game, in the 28th minute of the opening half. Koopmans drove the ball past the Boardman goalkeeper, after Marx handed the ball off to him on a play that Marx could have elected to take the shot.
"Luke could have easily taken the shot, but he passed it off to Micah," said Smies.
Koopmans did the same thing as Marx at the 11th minute of the second half. Both he and Jordan Haak were in prime scoring position, but instead of attempting the goal Koopmans opted to pass the ball to his teammate. Haak promptly deposited the ball into the back of the Boardman net. Five minutes later, the two players found themselves in an identical situation. This time, Haak elected to force the extra pass and Koopmans knocked in his third goal of the game.
Koopmans' second goal came in the 32nd minute of the game, when he drove unabated down the middle of the field and pushed the ball past numerous defenders, eventually scoring without the help of any of his teammates.
Sunnyside Christian opened an early 1-0 lead on Boardman on a Haak goal that came in the fifth minute of the contest. In the 10th minute, Justin Burgers booted in a goal for the Knights to give them a 2-0 lead. Both of those scores were assisted by Marx.
Smies said Marx, as the team's sweeper from his center fullback position, displayed some excellent footwork on both assists.
Boardman came up with its lone goal of the game in the 17th minute of the second half. A "...meltdown in the middle," as described by Smies, allowed Eduardo Lozano to score for the visitors. Neither club scored again after that.
Sunnyside Christian got off a total of 14 shots on goal yesterday, six of them successful. Knights' goalkeeper John Bosma was credited with seven saves in the non-league contest.