WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla Blue Devils struck early and often during a CBBN soccer match against the Sunnyside Lady Grizzlies this past Saturday. The result was a 5-1 loss for Sunnyside.
Alyssa Smyth scored first for the Blue Devils in the sixth minute of play. She would then score nine minutes later for her second goal of the game and a 2-0 Walla Walla lead.
The Blue Devils continued to pour it on and Walla Walla got goals from Lexi Zander in the 22nd minute and Paige Pontarolo in the 25th minute.
Down 4-0 at halftime, Sunnyside Coach Jon Soule said the score shouldn't have been that bad.
"We came out flat and had no hustle," he said. "Our defense let balls go through and our keepers let plays go through. It was frustrating to watch."
The second half saw the Sunnyside team play much better and the Lady Grizzlies battled Walla Walla to a 1-1 draw in the second half.
"We did play better," Soule said of his team's second half play. "Overall Walla Walla wasn't any better than us. We gave them the game to start with but we gave a much better effort in the second half."
Alison Zander made the score 5-0 in Walla Walla's favor in the 55th minute of play, and Sunnyside's lone goal came in the 78th minute.
Analisa Van Oostrum took a free kick from the Grizzlies' side of the mid-field point. She hit the ball low and a Walla Walla defender got it and hit the ball right back to Van Oostrum. She then kicked the ball towards the goal from about 70 yards out and the Walla Walla keeper came out of her box to get the ball. A miscalculation caused the keeper, Kaitlynn Griffith, to miss the ball and it bounced over her head and into the goal.
"It was a fun goal," Soule said.
The Grizzlies managed just two shots on goal and the Blue Devils shot 11. Griffith had one save for Walla Walla. Liz Sustaita and Perla Ponce teamed up for seven saves for Sunnyside.
"We wanted to come out and have a good game against a team with the same record as us," Soule said. "They didn't overwhelm us and we let a winnable game slip away."
Sunnyside (1-12, 3-12) will host Wenatchee on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m., for the team's final regular season game. Soule said Tuesday is senior night and it will be the last high school game for Michelle Galvan, Samantha Wright, Joanna Mendoza and Nayelli Vargas.
"There should be some emotion and hopefully we'll be able to play off that," Soule said.