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Lady Grizzlies lose heartbreaker

YAKIMA - The Sunnyside High School girls soccer team arrived early and stayed late in a 3-2 non-league shootout loss at Davis High School yesterday, Tuesday.

The Davis soccer field doesn't have lights, so the contest had to start at 5 p.m. According to Sunnyside Coach Jon Soule, the skies had darkened by the time the shootout concluded.

The host Pirates opened with a goal in the ninth minute to go up 1-0. Myra Serna answered for Sunnyside in the 24th minute with a breakaway goal to knot the score at 1-1 going into halftime.

Sunnyside scored again just three minutes into the second half as Samantha Wright found the back of the net after a previous Lady Grizzly shot attempt was deflected.

It looked like Sunnyside's 2-1 lead would hold up, with Soule noting that the Lady Grizzlies kept the ball in the Davis end of the field for most of the second half.

In fact, Sunnyside had multiple chances to build cushion into their second half lead. "We had several crossing shots," Soule said. "We would drive it into the corner, but we just didn't have people covering places."

Ultimately, the Lady Grizzlies' hopes came undone with just six minutes to play, as Davis found a chink in the Sunnyside defense and scored to send the match into overtime. "It was just a breakdown," Soule said of the equalizing goal. "They outran our defense."

After two scoreless overtime periods, the two teams went into the shootout phase, with Davis getting the upper hand 4-2.

Sunnyside had eight shot attempts in regulation play, compared to five for Davis. Lady Grizzly keeper Yesenia Ruiz recorded three saves.

A loss is a loss, but last night's outcome was a much closer decision than Sunnyside's 5-2 season opening home loss to the Pirates.

Soule said it helped that Sunnyside had its keeper and two returning defenders on the field for last night's match. All three were unavailable for the first tilt with Davis.

This marks the second match this season in which Sunnyside has led only to see its opponent rally late for the win.

Soule says playing, and finishing, with a lead is all part of a learning experience for the Sunnyside girls. "We start getting excited and lose focus at the end of the game," he noted. "We were running crazy, not finding people we needed to guard."

The Lady Grizzlies (1-6, 1-10) host Kamiakin this Saturday.

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