TROUT LAKE - After a couple of less than stellar seasons, the Sunnyside Christian High School boys soccer team seems to be on the right track this year.
The Knights opened their 2005 campaign with a pair of wins over the weekend. Both weekend games were played at Trout Lake.
Sunnyside Christian started its season on a high note with a 5-1 thrashing of City Christian, a school out of the Portland, Ore. area.
"It was a very wet game," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Russ Smies.
Michael DeGroot established the pace of the game very early for the Knights. DeGroot scored the first goal at the seventh minute off an assist from Joel Koopmans.
The Knights put two more shots into the back of the net in the first half. Justin Burgers added a tally at the 18th minute and teammate Paul Groenewold had a goal at the 19th minute.
With a 3-0 lead, Sunnyside Christian's Aaron Van de Graaf did most of the work in the second half. He had goals at the 48th and 57th minutes. Brenen Swofford and DeGroot each had an assist on the goals.
City Christian scored its lone goal of the game at the 69th minute.
Smies said that he went in with the game plan of attacking City Christian and making the most of the playing conditions.
"We just shot a lot," said Smies.
The Knights were able to dominate play in the middle of the field, said Smies. Sunnyside Christian utilized an effective inside-outside game to break up the defense of City Christian.
Smies said DeGroot and Van de Graaf are going to become an effective tandem as the season goes on.
Sunnyside Christian's offense was pretty effective, taking 11 shots on goal. City Christian had six shots.
Knights' keeper John Bosma had a solid game in the box with five saves.
Bosma, though, would save his best game of the weekend for Saturday against Corbett, another team out of the Portland area.
Bosma stood tall in the box, as he defended a 3-0 shutout for the Knights.
Bosma, a senior, had 12 saves in the game.
"John had a good game," said Smies. "They took some good shots on him."
Saturday's game was a real defensive battle, as neither team was able to get on the board until late in the first half. Sunnyside Christian's Matt Haak put the Knights on the board with a goal at the 33rd minute. Van de Graaf then added one of his two goals on the afternoon at the 36th minute from an assist by DeGroot.
Van de Graaf added an insurance goal in the second half at the 46th minute from an assist by Joel Koopmans.
Saturday's game was much the same for Sunnyside Christian offensively as it was on Friday. The Knights moved the ball effectively down the field, said Smies.
The Knights also stood out with their transition game, said Smies.
"Our defense is starting to come together," he added.
The Knights had nine shots on goal against Corbett.
Sunnyside Christian (0-0, 2-0) will host Evergreen Lutheran on Friday and then Valley Christian this Saturday. Game times are 4 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday.