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Knights eliminated from playoff race with Friday's loss to Crusaders

YAKIMA - Last Friday's 3-2 loss to the Riverside Christian Crusaders mathematically eliminated the Sunnyside Christian High School boys soccer team from the Greater Columbia 'B' League playoff race.

The Knights (0-7, 5-9) still have conference match-ups this week against Moses Lake Christian and Trout Lake.

Playing on Riverside Christian's field last Friday, the Knights fell behind by a 2-0 score in the first half. Sunnyside Christian cut the deficit to 2-1 about 14 minutes into the second half, though, when freshman Michael DeGroot squirted a shot past the Crusader goalkeeper.

DeGroot's goal, which he booted in from about 15 yards out, sailed cleanly by the Riverside goalie, who came out of the net in an attempt to pick up the loose ball.

Unfortunately for the Knights, any hopes for a come-from-behind victory went by the wayside two minutes later, when Ryan Van Beek scored his second goal of the game to give Riverside Christian a 3-1 lead.

Sunnyside Christian accounted for the final 3-2 score in the last minute of the game. Freshman Brenen Swofford, off a corner kick, nailed a shot through a pack of defenders into the back of the Crusader net for the Knights' second and final goal of the contest.

Swofford, who hasn't seen much playing time this season, was inserted into Friday's game in the late going and made the most of his opportunity.

"I think it was instinct that he saw the open shot and took it," Sunnyside Christian Coach Russ Smies said. "It almost makes you wonder if he should be getting more playing time.

"His goal was a bit of a boost for us right there at the end," Smies added.

Smies went on to explain that his Knights had difficulty getting their offense going Friday afternoon. He said his club only took four shots on goal.

"It wasn't nearly enough," he said.

Riverside Christian more than doubled the Knights' shots on goal, taking 10 attempts. Sunnyside Christian goalkeeper John Bosma was credited with seven saves.

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