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Sunnyside Christian loses two heartbreakers

SPOKANE - The Sunnyside Christian boys soccer team played a heartbreaker of a game Friday afternoon against Valley Christian.

After showing up 45 minutes late due to bus troubles, the Knights lost 3-2 in a shootoutnowdlllddddeir shoot-out Knight, dropping the team's record to 2-3-1.

"It was a good game," Sunnyside Christian Coach Russ Smies said. "We were a little flat in the first half."

The lack of warm-up time might have had something to do with Valley Christian scoring twice in the first 15 minutes of the game.

After that, Sunnyside's goalie John Bosma denied everything that came his way in regulation play.

Valley Christian got off 10 shots on goal but only managed two points in the first half. Sunnyside only came up with two shots which were defended.

Early in the second half Sunnyside scored when Matt Haak headed the ball into the net to cut Valley's lead in half.

"It was a beautiful shot," Smies said. "You don't see those kind of shots too often."

According to Smies, that shot really set the pace for the second half.

A little later Haak took another shot but the ball bounced off Valley's goal post. Michael DeGroot was there to boot it in, though, and the Knights tied the game at 2-2.

After that it was just good defensive soccer play as both teams took six shots on goal but couldn't get one in.

After regulation time had expired, the teams played two scoreless five-minute overtime periods to finally set up the shootout.

"Last week we lost to these guys 1-0," Smies said. "We really wanted this one. No one was giving up anything in the overtime periods."

As darkness started to fall the shootout began. Joel Koopmans scored one goal for the Knights but Valley Christian was too tough, getting three goals out of five tries to win the shootout and secure a 3-2 victory.

"The guys played their hearts out," Smies said. "They did everything we asked of them."

The next day the Knights played Northwest Christian in a morning game.

Northwest easily won 3-0 against the emotionally drained and tired Knights.

"Northwest Christian is a very powerful team," Smies said. "They play very well and are a fun team to watch."

Northwest started dominating early when Jonah Gallegos scored in the first minute of regulation to make it 1-0. After that goalie John Bosma shut down Northwest for the rest of the half.

In the first half the Knights didn't get off too many shots on goal.

Their defense was too good, Smies said. They had some big guys and they didn't let anything by them.

In the second half Northwest picked it up while Sunnyside didn't.

"We played pretty consistently," Smies said. "We didn't pick it up in the second half but we didn't fall off the radar either."

Sunnyside's bench is not very deep with only three substitutes available for the game.

Northwest's Gallegos scored twice more in the second half, accounting for all of Northwest's goals in the game.

Northwest attacked relentlessly in the second half but Sunnyside's defense held their own. Bosma had 22 saves out of 25 shots on goal.

"They were coming at him hard from close range, long range, left and right," Smies said.

"We are getting good experience and playing hard for 90 minutes," he added. "We've had some good halves but we're waiting to string together two good halves. Hopefully we can do that against Riverside this week."

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