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Grizzly soccer club wins season opener

The Sunnyside boys soccer team saw plenty of action this past weekend. On Friday the Grizzlies played Prosser and Richland to a draw at the Richland Jamboree. On Saturday, Sunnyside traveled to East Valley and stung last year's 2A State champs, 1-0.

On Friday Sunnyside played Prosser and Richland high schools to a 0-0 draw. Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda said he was trying out a new line-up in the two games, comprising two 10-minute halves.

"They were full intensity games but it takes a while to get the momentum going," he said. "Most players are stiff in their first game."

Pineda said he identified several areas where his team needs to work.

He said there was improvement on Saturday when Sunnyside traveled to East Valley.

"We were much more organized on defense," Pineda explained.

Sunnyside started the game playing on the conservative side but soon found they could mount offensive runs. It was then the Grizzlies started to attack and after a few attempts they were able to capitalize.

Sunnyside's most successful attack came after the Red Devils cleared the ball to the side and Sunnyside's Danny Alvarez threw the ball into play to Jesus Solis. Solis took a shot while the ball was in the air and rocketed it into the net for a 1-0 Sunnyside lead. It was a lead that would last the rest of the game.

"We're still struggling on offense and not connecting well," Pineda said. "Our mid-fielders are not taking risks."

He said his players are new to their positions but when more confidence is gained they will be much stronger, but will struggle if the way they attacked isn't addressed.

Pineda is very happy with his back players, noting they are all very experienced and have been playing together for years.

Sunnyside had 10 shots on goal during Saturday's contest. East Valley had five.

Sunnyside's keeper, Joaquin Perez, tallied four saves on the day.

Sunnyside (1-0) will travel to Grandview this Thursday, March 13, for a 7 p.m. game with the Greyhounds.

"This is a big game coming up," Pineda said of the Grandview game. "There is a lot of rivalry. We have a lot of work to do to come out on top. It's been six years since Grandview has beaten us. They're a strong team this year, they're hungry."

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