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Koopmans leads SCHS to split in soccer matches

TROUT LAKE - Senior Micah Koopmans scored four of his team's five goals to lead Sunnyside Christian to a season opening split this past weekend.

Playing at Trout Lake last Friday and Saturday, the Knights soccer team was matched up against two prep squads from Oregon. Friday, SCHS was upended 6-3 by Grant Union. Saturday, the Knights rebounded for a 2-1 victory over Corbett.

Shawn Holbrook gave Corbett a 1-0 lead when he booted the ball into the net at the 29th minute of Saturday's game. Corbett maintained the shutout throughout the rest of the first half, and it appeared the Oregonians had the game in hand in the late stages, as well. But with time running down, Koopmans fielded a crossing shot from freshman Michael DeGroot and blasted it by the Corbett goalie to square the contest at 1-all. The game tying goal came in the 70th minute of the non-league contest.

Two minutes later, Koopmans took a pass from his younger brother, Joel, and converted it into the go-ahead score. The Knights milked out the clock from there for the win.

"After we got that first goal in the 70th minute, there was a huge momentum shift," said SCHS Coach Russ Smies. "Our players came alive, and you could see that Corbett's players were very tired."

In Friday's 6-3 loss to Grant Union, the Knights stayed with the Oregon club early on. "We stuck with them at first," said Smies.

But with the game being the first of the season for the Knights, they committed a couple of errors and Grant Union capitalized on the mistakes, sticking a couple of shots into the back of the SCHS net.

Sunnyside Christian was forced to play catch-up after that, but it was to no avail. To the Knights' credit, they bounced back with three goals-two by Koopmans, one coming on a penalty kick and the other off a crossing shot. Junior Matt Haak had the third goal for the Knights.

Sunnyside Christian (0-0, 1-1) will host the Seattle area Evergreen Lutheran team this coming Friday. Saturday, the Knights will take on Spokane's Valley Christian squad on the Sunnyside field. Both upcoming contests are non-league affairs.

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