RICHLAND - The score was a little closer than some of their previous matches, but the Sunnyside girls soccer team still came away with a 7-1 defeat at Hanford High School last night.
As has been a difficulty in previous games, the Lady Grizzlies again surrendered an early goal, as Hanford found the back of the net in just the fifth minute for a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons soared from there, forging a 4-0 lead at the half. Hanford followed that up with two more goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half to put the match out of reach.
Sunnyside's lone goal came in the 61st minute on a Sasha Castro free kick from just outside the penalty box. "She nailed it right in the goal," said Coach John Soule.
Though the loss left Sunnyside (0-4, 0-6) still looking for its first win, Soule felt the Lady Grizzlies showed improvement.
"I felt really good about the team," the coach noted. "We had more fire, more spirit, but got beat by fast breaks down the middle. They outran our girls to the goal."
To counter that in the future, Soule said he will encourage his players to not be quite so aggressive in pursuing the first opposing player with the ball.
"We're going to have to be less aggressive going after the first attacker," Soule said. "We just need to slow them down and let our numbers catch with them."
Despite the final 7-1 score, Sunnyside did have some bright spots on the stat sheet last night. Keeper Yesenia Ruiz recorded seven saves in goal for the Lady Grizzlies.
On offense, Sunnyside had six shots on goal. Soule was pleased to see his team get closer to the opponent's goal with the shot attempts. "We had some nice connection passes," he said. "Most of our shots were within 25 yards of the goal."
Sunnyside returns to action tomorrow, Thursday, at home against Wapato.
Soule said he wants his team to work for more shots on goal and, on the defensive side, cut down on the number of goals scored against them.
"We have to be more disciplined," he said. "Speed is not our strength."