PROSSER - There will be plenty to keep soccer fans interested this Tuesday night at Sunnyside High School.
Fans of boys soccer will be in for a treat Tuesday night as Hanford comes to town to play Sunnyside (3-0, 5-0) in what will be a meeting of the unbeatens.
Tuesday night's game will be a treat on many different levels. Soccer fans can expect a beautifully played game, as both teams will surely exhibit unbelievable soccer skills, as they have in past meetings. But the game will also hold more importance because it will decide the shift of power in the Mid-Valley League for the rest of the season.
"If we beat Hanford things will seem easier for us to try and claim a league title," said Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda. "It will be a good test for us to see how good we are."
Pineda said the Falcons are playing even better than they were last year when Sunnyside beat them on a couple of occasions, including a postseason victory.
"They have a solid number of returning players," said Pineda. "It is going to be one of the more difficult matches for us."
But prior to worrying about Tuesday's key Mid-Valley League game against Hanford, Sunnyside had to take care of some business against a pesky Prosser squad this past Saturday.
The Grizzlies had to rally for the first time this year, as they came back to beat Prosser 2-1.
"Prosser was so pumped up to play us," said Pineda. "Prosser has a new coach and a new system. It took me a few minutes to understand what Prosser was doing."
Pineda said lightheartedly that it took his players a bit longer to figure out what Prosser was doing.
The Mustangs were very solid on the defensive side of the ball, said Pineda.
Pineda said the Mustangs ran what is called a flat four set, where the team played zone and sent four or five players to come crushing down on an opposing player with a ball.
"Which meant Junior (Garcia) couldn't make his usual runs," said Pineda.
Pineda said the key to moving the ball against the defense the Mustangs were utilizing was to spread the field and make quick passes, which Sunnyside was able to do more of in the second half.
Both teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half. Pineda said Grizzly keeper Sam Wise had a couple of good saves in the first half that helped keep the Grizzlies in the game.
Prosser got on the board first, after intermission, when Elias Sanchez took a shot from about 30 yards out and the wind carried the ball past Wise for the goal.
This is when Sunnyside's Junior Garcia decided to take over the game. Garcia scored two goals in the second half, the first of which came at the 55th minute off a pass from Alex Aguilar. Sunnyside's game-winning goal came at the 75th minute from Garcia, off a corner kick served up by Hugo Morales.
The Grizzlies had another goal in the second half that was called back, said Pineda. The Grizzlies also had two shots on goal that hit the cross bar.
Pineda wasn't too happy with the way his team started the game.
"I was real happy with how they regrouped in the second half," said the Grizzly coach.
Pineda said as Sunnyside was able to start spreading the field more opportunities opened up for the Grizzlies.
Sunnyside outshot Prosser 12 to 8 on goal.
Wise had six saves in the box for the Grizzlies while Prosser's keeper finished with nine.