KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Grizzlies soccer team took revenge against the Kamiakin Braves this past Saturday, beating them 3-0 and moving into a tie for first place with Eastmont.
The Braves beat the Grizzlies in Sunnyside on March 26. This past Saturday's win gives both the Grizzlies and the Wildcats identical 7-3 league records. The two teams will play each other in the final league game of the season Saturday, April 26, in East Wenatchee.
"This was a very aggressive game from the start," Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda said. "Kamiakin couldn't keep up with our passing game so they relied on physical play. They were pushing the limits on every ball."
This tough, physical play by the Braves backfired on them in the 11th minute of play as Sunnyside's Brian Galvan was taken down and fouled inside the Kamiakin 18-yard box, creating a penalty shot for Sunnyside.
Luis Perez did the honors for the Grizzlies and converted the penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.
Pineda said the rest of the first half action was fought in the mid-field section. Sunnyside was able to create two more scoring opportunities but Kamiakin's keeper, Abel Bautista, was able to stop the Grizzlies from scoring.
Pineda cautioned his team at halftime, noting a 1-0 lead isn't a huge advantage.
"I told them to stay disciplined and focused, and not to let down on their intensity," he said.
The Grizzlies answered their coach's call and came out strong in the second half. Pineda said he knew Kamiakin was getting hungry for a score and might resort to the long ball to shake things up.
It was then that Sunnyside Assistant Coach Sergio Licona mentioned to Pineda that he though Grizzly player Humberto Bermudez might be able to do some damage and Pineda sent in his bench player.
Bermudez answered his team's call with two goals, one in the 68th minute and one in the 73rd.
The first came on a corner kick by Emmanuel Acevedo. He served a curving kick to the scrum in front of Kamiakin's goal. The Braves goalie couldn't get a handle on the ball and Bermudez picked up the loose ball and scored for a 2-0 Sunnyside lead.
He added his second goal when he took a long pass from teammate Armando Ortiz and beat his man to take a shot past the keeper for the final score of the game.
Bautista had four saves for Braves and Joaquin Perez recorded six saves for the Grizzlies.
Sunnyside will play its last home game of the season this Tuesday, April 22, when the Grizzlies host Southridge for a 7 p.m. contest.