Friday, September 30, 2005
The soccer match had more plot twists than a "B" movie and one player had to leave the field to catch her second wind.
And that was in just the first 20 minutes of play in Sunnyside's 4-3 shootout win at home over Grandview on Thursday night.
The first half was scoreless between the rivals. But it wasn't from lack of trying, in what many in the crowd viewed as one of the best high school soccer games in recent years.
Grandview's soph sensation Anna George stole the ball in the first minute of play but couldn't find the net. Yanet Candido led the charge for Sunnyside on several occasions only to come up empty-handed.
The fury and passion of the first half found release in the second stanza as the rivals combined for six goals in a span of 25 minutes.
It was like a high school version of Nintendo soccer with the teams sometimes scoring within seconds of each other.
Sunnyside struck first as Candido lofted a shot from 20 yards out, which caught the right corner of the net to put the Lady Grizzlies up 1-0 in the 42nd minute.
Just 90 seconds later the Lady 'Hounds Cris Meza drilled home the equalizer from just right of the net to make it a 1-1 match.
Candido "bent it like Beckham" on a free kick a few moments later to put the Lady Grizzlies back up 2-1 in the 52nd minute
Undaunted, Grandview rallied behind Anna George, who knocked home a straight shot on goal to tie it at 2-2 in the 58th minute.
Back came Sunnyside two minutes later, only this time it was Leslie Jones collecting a rebounded shot and finding the back of the net for a 3-2 Lady Grizzlies lead.
That set the stage for more late game heroics from George. The sophomore booted a free kick from about 20 yards just left of the net, which went through untouched for a 3-all match in the 60th minute.
Both teams had chances for a game winning goal in the final 20 minutes and two five-minute overtime periods but were left empty handed.
With fans, players and coaches exhausted, the outcome was decided in a penalty kick shoot-out.
George was the only Grandview player to find the back of the net during the shootout while Jones, Cassie Jolliff and Candido made good on their attempts from point-blank range. Candido's kick clinched the 4-3 win for Sunnyside as her teammates erupted in cheers.
"It's a good win for us heading into the second half of the season," noted Sunnyside Coach Kathy Jolliff. "We lost a close match against Prosser so we needed this one."
Grandview Coach Anne Holden observed of the match, "It was too bad someone had to lose this one. It was a great match and if we can play like this against Othello on Tuesday we'll do well."
Sunnyside (2-4, 3-7) hosts Ellensburg next Tuesday at 6 p.m. while Grandview (1-4, 1-7) travels to Othello this Saturday.