GRANDVIEW - Those in the know had to be surprised when the Sunnyside High School boys soccer team pounded Grandview 6-0 in last night's non-league affair.
"We had a good game," said Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda. "The guys came out strong."
The Grizzlies knocked Grandview on its heels right off the bat, scoring on the opening possession. Sunnyside's Miguel Galvan took the opening ball and ran it down the field, ending up with a one-on-one opportunity with Grandview's keeper in the first few seconds of the game. Greyhound keeper Gustavo Martinez tried to clear Sunnyside's possession, but the ball hit a Grandview player and bounced back into the net for a score.
"The very first one just rocked us," said Grandview Coach Anne Holden. "It was just a shell shock for us."
Grandview buckled down defensively after the first goal, keeping Sunnyside's potent offense at bay for much of the remainder of the first half. This is when Sunnyside's all-star, Junior Garcia, went to work. Garcia scored the first of his three goals in the opening half off an assist from teammate Alex Aguilar at the 29th minute.
"After that (goal) they (Grandview) went on the attack more," said Pineda.
Sam Balverde racked up an assist on Garcia's next goal, which came at the 32nd minute. Garcia recorded his last goal of the game two minutes later off an assist by Diego Reyes.
Garcia now has 98 goals in his career and could break the 100 mark next Tuesday as the Grizzlies open league play at home against Wapato.
Garcia had both assists on Sunnyside's two goals in the second half. Aguilar scored for the Grizzlies at the 47th minute and then Galvan finished off the game with a goal at the 72nd minute.
"For some reason our guys always get pumped up to play Grandview," said Pineda.
Sunnyside outshot Grandview 12 to 10 on goal with Sunnyside keeper Rafa Martinez recording seven saves.
Pineda said Grandview regrouped nicely after the opening goal.
"They had some good runs early against us," said Pineda. "Our defense did a good job of stopping them."
Pineda said Grandview switched up its game plan after Sunnyside scored its second goal and attacked the Grizzlies more offensively.
Another bright point for the Grizzlies was they seemed to have found a solution to the problem that Othello gave them in the season opener. Othello was able to move the ball effectively off a series of long kicks, which Grandview wasn't able to develop last night.
"Our keeper and our defense did a good job of playing the long balls," said Pineda.
Holden said her team struggled to find any rhythm on the field.
"We just didn't play well," said Holden. "We played poorly. We didn't handle their pressure. We certainly made them look good."
Holden said her team's game plan defensively was to focus on Garcia, driving him back towards the opposite side of the field.
When Sunnyside scored its second goal the Greyhounds were forced to change what they were doing and attack the Grizzlies offensively.
"We had to take more risks," said Holden.
Pineda said as a result Sunnyside was able to find more openings on the field for its offense.
Martinez had a nice effort in the box for the Greyhounds, said Holden, including stopping Garcia on a penalty kick as the defending Mid-Valley League player of the year was trying to record his fourth goal of the game.
Sunnyside (0-0, 2-0) opens Mid-Valley League play next Tuesday at home against Wapato. Pineda said he isn't expecting anything less than what has been featured in the past meetings between the two teams. Pineda said he is expecting another hard-fought game.
The Greyhounds (0-0, 0-2) open Central Washington Athletic Conference southern division play this Saturday at Kiona-Benton. Holden said she hasn't seen Ki-Be play in a couple of years, but is excited to start league play and possibly record Grandview's first win of the season.
"We are going to go get it," said Holden.