MOSES LAKE - Their first meeting of the season proved to be an embarrassment for the Sunnyside Christian High School boys soccer team.
"After getting beat by Moses Lake Christian 8-0 back in September, our guys might have been more motivated yesterday," SCHS Coach Russ Smies said following his team's narrow 2-1 loss to that same bunch yesterday.
"Moses Lake has a different offense than most teams," Smies continued. "This time, we shifted our defense to match up better with their offense.
"I thought we marked up well against them this time," he added.
The Knights proved to Moses Lake Christian at the outset of Tuesday's contest they were going to be a force with which to be reckoned. Just two minutes into the game, junior Justin Burgers chased down a deflection off his own shot and powered the rebound past Moses Lake's goalkeeper.
"It was kind of a crap shoot right at the start," Smies said, explaining that Burgers' goal came before either of the teams really had a chance to feel each other out.
Both clubs quickly switched to a defensive mode, and as often happens in soccer, the 1-0 score held up through the first half.
"That was an excellent improvement from the first time we played them," Smies said.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, though, Moses Lake's Brenden McCormack rebounded a direct kick and stuck the loose ball past SCHS goalkeeper John Bosma.
The game tying goal was one of only two shots that escaped Bosma's grasp yesterday. Finishing with 11 saves on the afternoon, Bosma turned in a top notch effort from the goalie's box.
"Moses Lake's shots on goal weren't directed right at John. He had to make some great, diving saves for us," said Smies.
Five minutes after McCormack squared the contest, Moses Lake Christian teammate Darrick Dietzen scooped up a loose ball, glided past several Sunnyside Christian defenders and drove the ball home for the game winner.
"On that play, Moses Lake brought up an extra man on offense," said Smies. "We didn't pick up on it quickly enough, and they took advantage."
Smies called yesterday's performance by his club "...an all-around good team effort." He also made special note of the play of senior sweeper Luke Marx, who shut down several of Moses Lake Christian's scoring opportunities.
Tuesday's loss dropped the Knights' Greater Columbia 'B' League record to 0-4, although SCHS is 5-6 overall on the season.
"Our kids are capable," said Smies. "They're starting to realize it."
Sunnyside Christian is scheduled to play at Trout Lake this coming Friday, and will then take on Riverside Christian twice next week.