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Grizzly soccer team pulls out season opener

OTHELLO - The Sunnyside High School boys soccer team got its season off on the right foot this past Saturday with a win over Othello.

The Grizzlies won the non-league game 4-3 when reigning Mid-Valley League MVP Junior Garcia scored in the 30th minute of the second half off a throw-in.

But Saturday's game wasn't just a one-man show for Sunnyside, as most of the other Grizzlies were involved some way.

Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda said Othello did well developing plays off long kicks.

"They were really aggressive," Pineda added.

The scoring frenzy started early, as Sunnyside was first to get on the board. The Grizzlies scored at the third minute of the opening half when Garcia came charging up the right side of the field and crossed the ball to teammate Alex Aguilar, who nailed a diving header right into the back of the net to give Sunnyside an early 1-0 lead. The Huskies fought back, scoring six minutes later, when Jose Martinez scored off a one-on-one play with Sunnyside keeper German Torres. The ball had bounced over a Sunnyside defender, said Pineda, allowing Martinez to get the one-on-one play with Sunnyside's keeper. Garcia gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead before halftime when he scored off a pass from Miguel Galvan at the 20th minute.

The Huskies came out and tied things up early in the second half, scoring at the fifth minute when Jose Pardo found the back of the net off an assist from Martinez. Sunnyside marched right back and scored at the 10th minute of the second half when Galvan tallied a goal off an assist from Daniel Ramos. Othello's Freddie Ramos scored the Huskies' last goal five minutes later, on an unassisted long kick. Garcia then scored the winning goal at the 30th minute.

The Grizzlies went wild on Othello keeper Jose Silva, racking up 18 shots on goal. The Huskies managed 10 shots on goal.

Torres had six saves for the Grizzlies while Silva finished with 12.

"They had a really good keeper," said Pineda.

Pineda was pleased with the way Torres handled himself in the box.

"He had a good presence," said Pineda. "He could read where the ball was coming from. I thought he did fine."

Pineda said the Grizzlies will be working on their defense at practice.

"Our defense is new, so we allowed some runs that shouldn't have happened," said Pineda.

Pineda also said Sunnyside needs to do a better job of battling for balls in the air.

Offensively, Pineda was very pleased with his team, as almost everyone got involved in the scoring.

Pineda said it was a good game by Sunnyside for it being the first outing of the season. Pineda is looking forward to this Tuesday night's game at Grandview.

"It will be a Lower Valley classic," said Pineda. "It will be fun. Grandview always plays hard against us."

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