KENNEWICK - In Columbia Basin League action last Saturday, the Sunnyside girls soccer team was defeated 8-0 at Southridge.
The hosts led 5-0 at halftime and closed out the match with three goals in the second half.
"These guys were far better than Davis," Sunnyside Coach Kathy Jolliff said in reference to her team's season opening 5-0 loss last week.
Jolliff said the combination of a young team, a busy Friday night with football and a dance, and a strong opponent all helped undo Sunnyside's hopes on Saturday.
That's not to say the team doesn't show promise.
"We're a young team (including seven freshmen) and we execute really well in practice," Jolliff observed. "Part of the problem is stepping up to that next level (of game play) with intensity and speed."
In the loss there were positive signs for the Lady Grizzlies, as freshman keeper Nicole Palomarez recorded 17 saves.
Jolliff praised Sasha Castro and Alejandra Benitez for pushing the ball forward against the Southridge defense.
"They did an awesome job pushing the ball," Jolliff said. "They gave it their best every time."
After Southridge disrupted Sunnyside's passing attack in the first half, Jolliff coached her team to "just boot the ball" in the second half.
The result was more scoring threats for the Lady Grizzlies. Jolliff explained that as Southridge defenders pressed in close in anticipation of a pass, Sunnyside would kick the ball up field.
Jolliff praised her team for making the transition and the increased chances it provided within the 18-yard box in front of Southridge's goal.
Though Sunnyside was again shut out, Jolliff expressed hope for her young team.
"It will help as we get more in sync with each other," she said, noting this year's team is a blend of last year's JV team, some freshmen players and a few varsity returners.
"I'm still looking for the good combinations," she said of her line-up.
Sunnyside (0-1, 0-2) will have the benefit of being home this week for three matches, beginning Tuesday night against Kamiakin. The Lady Grizzlies also host East Valley this Thursday and West Valley on Saturday.
"They're a great bunch of kids," Jolliff said of her players. "They work hard, but they have to work twice as hard to make up for the lack of experience compared to the other schools."