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Grizzlies finish seaso in third place

Sunnyside to host Selah this Thursday

ELLENSBURG - Leave it to West Valley to mess plans up for the Sunnyside High School boys soccer team.

The Rams pulled off a 2-1 upset in a shootout against Hanford this past Saturday to claim the No. 2 seed from the Mid-Valley League for this week's Regional playoffs.

Sunnyside did its part this past Saturday with a dominating 8-0 victory over Ellensburg at the women's soccer field at Central Washington University. But the Falcons didn't live up to their side of things. The Grizzlies would have finished second in league play with a win over the Bulldogs and a Hanford victory over West Valley.

Despite not being able to grab the No. 2 seed, Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda was still pleased with his team's effort on Saturday against Ellensburg. The Grizzlies struggled last time the two teams met in Sunnyside.

"This time, we didn't play to their level," said Pineda.

The first two goals in Saturday's onslaught started at the 11th minute, when Matt Jongsma scored off an assist from Sam Balverde. The same two combined against to score at the 21st minute. Junior Garcia then record the first of his four assists on the afternoon by helping teammate Alex Aguilar score at the 27th minute. Garcia then was credited the assist on the final goal of the first half, which saw Miguel Galvan power in a shot at the 36th minute.

Leading 4-0 at the break, Pineda pulled keeper Sam Wise out of the box to let him have some fun playing in the field. Wise assisted Garcia with his only goal of the game at the 58th minute. Freddy Sanchez then scored at the 60th minute off an assist from Garcia. Garcia found Jose Ramos at the 74th minute for Sunnyside's seventh goal. The Grizzlies' final goal was by Balverde off an assist from Garcia.

Pineda said Garcia did a solid job of keeping all of his teammates involved in the game.

Sunnyside ended up outshooting Ellensburg 15 to 10 on goal. Wise and back-up keeper Sadrac Franco combined for five saves for the Grizzlies.

Pineda said his players showed a lot of heart on Saturday and played to the best of their ability.

"I am happy the boys showed that intensity," said Pineda. "It shows in the playoffs we are going to be a tough team."

The Grizzlies will host Selah this Thursday night in the opening round of the postseason at 6 p.m. The two Mid-Valley League rivals just played one another last Thursday, which the Grizzlies won 3-1.

"It won't be an easy game," said Pineda. "We have to establish the tempo early."

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