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4A Pirates beat Sunnyside in shootout

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Sunnyside freshman keeper Ediberto Garcia looks on as Grizzly defender Jesus Ruelas (facing away from camera) tries to head a Davis corner kick away.

The 3A Sunnyside Grizzly boys soccer team rallied from a 2-0 deficit, but fell short in a 6-5 shootout loss after two overtime sessions at home against 4A Davis last night, Tuesday.

The Pirates took a quick 2-0 lead in the first half thanks to a strong wind at their backs, scoring in the 15th and 25th minutes.

"It was a windy day," said Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda. "It was hard for us, our long balls were not actually going far, we couldn't get the pressure out of our side of the field."

However, the Grizzlies found the net just a minute before the half, when Sunnyside's Brian Galvan dribbled the ball down the left sideline and delivered a crossing shot that Luis Garcia tapped into the net for the Grizzlies. "He came out of nowhere," Pineda said Garcia's quick strike.

Sunnyside came out with the wind at their backs in the second half, and plenty of intensity to boot, but struggled to find an equalizer.

"We were pressing every ball, we picked up the pace and winning more possessions," Pineda said. "We played with a lot of intensity."

Sunnyside's hard work finally paid off in the 72nd minute, coming just eight minutes remaining in regulation play.

The equalizer came on a long ball that Jordan Esqueda anticipated, collected and drilled home when the Davis keeper came out to defend the shot. "He placed it over the keeper's head for a goal," Pineda said. "Jordan had been working so hard, he deserved a goal."

Sunnyside had a chance to collect the winning score before the end of regulation when the Grizzlies pushed a ball to the far post of the Davis goal but couldn't cash in.

In the first overtime, Sunnyside's Brian Galvan had a potential winning goal waved off due to being offside.

After two scoreless overtime halves, the two teams went into a penalty kick shootout.

After Sunnyside keeper Ediberto Garcia stopped the first Davis attempt, the Grizzlies knocked home shootout goals off the feet of Jesus Ruelas, Julio Ramirez, Jesus Solis, Sergio Licona and Nick Steckler to make it a 5-5 score.

Davis missed its next shot, putting Sunnyside in a position to win the match. But, the Grizzlies missed their next two opportunities sandwiched around a Davis goal and were outscored 6-5 by the Pirates in the shootout.

Sunnyside had 12 shots on goal for the match, while Garcia recorded seven saves.

"We were so close, we played a good team," said Pineda.

The loss marks the third consecutive defeat for Sunnyside (1-3, 3-3), and that's a first said Pineda.

"The guys aren't down, they know we were competitive," the coach said. "They know there are still a lot of games to play."

Things don't get easier for the Grizzlies as this Saturday they will travel to play 3A rival West Valley.

"We are still contenders," Pineda said. "Our goal is still to be one of the top three teams."

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