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Refreshed Grizzlies blank 4A Ike

YAKIMA - The 3A Sunnyside Grizzly boys soccer team broke out of a two-game slump to defeat host 4A Eisenhower 2-0 this past Saturday.

The win saw Sunnyside double its scoring from the previous two games combined, tallying just one goal in back-to-back losses.

Sunnyside scored what proved to be Saturday's winning goal in the 22nd minute of play after Isaac Meza blasted a shot from 30 yards out that bounced off the Ike crossbar. Alfredo Gomez gathered in the carom and scored for the Grizzlies to make it a 1-0 match.

The scored remained 1-0 at the half. Sunnyside then found some breathing room in the 54th minute when Jesus Ruelas scored for the Grizzlies on a successful penalty kick attempt.

Despite shutting out the Cadets, Sunnyside was actually outshot for the match 11 to seven.

"We were marking them tight, putting pressure on whoever had the ball," Sunnyside Coach Juan Pineda said. As a result, the 11 shot attempts came from further out. "We made things really tight in the box, so they were forced to take shots from well outside," the coach said. "They had some shots that hit our crossbar, but our pressure didn't allow them to shoot comfortably."

Sunnyside keeper Luis Garcia recorded eight saves to keep Ike at bay.

Pineda particularly praised the play of Sunnyside defender Omar Vergara whose job it was to stop Ike's leading scorer this season, Jonathan Herrera. "Omar did a good job marking their goal leader," he said.

On offense, Sunnyside had a couple of other near-miss opportunities to further ice the game. "We had a couple of good crossing shots at close range, the ball was there but our forwards couldn't get to them," Pineda said.

The coach noted it also helped Sunnyside to get on the winning track by having everyone healthy. He said there have been some recent games where the Grizzly reserve cupboard was bare due to the injury bug.

Sunnyside (3-5, 4-5-1) doesn't play again until this coming Saturday, a home match against Richland.

"We have a full week to work on conditioning to pick up our speed," said Pineda. "We'll work on getting our wingers to feel more comfortable going up and down the sidelines." Other targets for improvement this week, he said, will be defending corner kicks and working on shooting technique.

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