KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Grizzlies overcame a different type of field they're used to playing on and some missing key players to beat the Kennewick Lions 2-1 in a shootout last night.
Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda said his team had trouble at first on the turf at Lampson Stadium because of the synthetic grass, but within minutes were able to overcome that.
Sunnyside established a good tempo in the first half, linking the ball to each other well, Pineda said.
"That allowed us to have a good presence in front of Kennewick's goal," Pineda said.
Sunnyside's Freddy Sanchez threatened Kennewick twice but the Lions' keeper was able to block both shots.
"Sanchez did very well," Pineda added.
In the 36th minute of the match Sunnyside's Alex Zaragoza sent a bullet from 55-yards out that curved and dropped behind the Kennewick keeper.
"It was a fantastic goal that left my cheeks numb from excitement," Pineda said. "You hardly get to see those types of goals in high school soccer."
The Grizzlies went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
Pineda made his team keep up the intensity in the second half with only a one-point lead and they did well in the first 20 minutes, he said.
In the last 20 minutes, the Lions stepped it up and in the 62nd minute, Kennewick's aggressive play paid off as Jonathan Ortiz flicked a ball over Sunnyside keeper Joaquin Perez to even the game at 1-1.
That's how the score stayed until a shootout was required to decide the game.
Sunnyside's Matt Jongsma, Brian Galvan and Zaragoza each scored and Hugo Morales got the winning goal as the Grizzlies won the shootout 4-3.
Pineda said Perez made two outstanding saves in the shootout to help Sunnyside get the win.
"I'm proud of the entire team for this great win," he added.
Sunnyside (1-1, 3-1) will travel to Hanford Saturday, Mar. 24, to take on the Falcons at 1 p.m.