The Sunnyside High School boys soccer team's Mid-Valley League and home opener were something that Grizzly fans will remember for a while.
That's because a bit of history was reached last night in the Grizzlies' dominating 5-1 thrashing of Mid-Valley League rival Wapato. Junior Garcia accomplished a rarity in high school boys soccer as he scored the 100th goal of his career. In fact, by the time everything was said and done, Garcia recorded his 102nd goal.
"Junior came out really hungry," said Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda, a former Grizzly soccer standout who finished his prep career with 85 goals. "Sunnyside High School is so fortunate to have a player like Junior."
Pineda said the 102 goals scored by Garcia doesn't only reflect the amazing soccer ability of the Grizzly senior, but also the way the entire team plays, as Garcia gained a lot of support from his teammates in accomplishing this feat.
Pineda said what is notable about Garcia reaching the 100 goal mark is that it is still early in the season, as last night marked only the third game of the season for the Grizzlies.
Garcia didn't waste any time last night, as he needed only two goals to reach the coveted 100 mark. Garcia charged out in the opening seconds of the game and with some help from teammate Rafa Diego scored 18 seconds into the game. Garcia's monumental prep soccer goal was set up by Sunnyside's Alex Aguilar, who fed the ball to Garcia just perfectly. Garcia was nearly inside the box when he headed the ball right past Wapato's goalie at the four-minute mark.
"It was a beautiful serve by Alex," said Pineda.
Hugo Morales had the third goal of the first half for the Grizzlies when he dribbled in a shot from teammate Miguel Galvan at the 14th minute.
Garcia wasn't done following his performance in the first half. Garcia scored an unassisted goal at the seventh minute of the second half. Garcia then put back a penalty kick that was missed by freshman Matt Jongsma for the last goal of the game. Jongsma's penalty kick hit the cross bar on what was a good looking shot, said Pineda.
Wapato scored its lone goal at the 65th minute, coming from Alex Macias.
Sunnyside outshot Wapato 16 to 12 on goal.
Wolfpack keeper Jose Mendoza had nine saves while Grizzly sophomore Sam Wise had seven saves in the box.
Pineda had a lot of praise for Wise, saying the Grizzly keeper had two key saves that kept Wapato off the board.
Pineda said it was also important that Sunnyside scored first in last night's game.
"When we score first we can dictate the tempo of the game," said Pineda.
But despite the dominating victory, Pineda wasn't 100 percent pleased with the all-around effort of his team. Pineda said Sunnyside's defense played well, as did the offense, but the problem is that the Grizzlies didn't keep the same intensity going for the complete game.
"We played well the first 15 minutes of the first half," said Pineda.
Pineda said his team opened up the second half strong and finished strong, but Sunnyside needs to play strong throughout.
"We need to be consistent and play the full game," said Pineda. "Overall, I am content, but when we play tough teams we need to pick it up more."
The Grizzlies (1-0, 3-0) will get their shot at a tough team this Saturday, as Sunnyside travels to West Valley for what is an always exciting match-up against the Rams.
"We need that tough game to see where we are at," said Pineda.