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Lady Grizzlies back on the winning track

KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Lady Grizzly soccer team snapped a seven-match losing streak with a 4-2 victory at Kennewick this past Saturday.

The win was the first in league play this season for Sunnyside (1-6, 2-7).

Sunnyside broke through early Saturday for its first goal after going scoreless in the previous six matches

In just the 10th minute of play, Analisa Van Oostrum got the scoring started for the Lady Grizzlies on a crossing shot that found the back of the net. Van Oostrum was recently moved from sweeper to midfielder and made the move payoff early with her shot from the far left side of the field that crossed into the net.

Kennewick came back to tie the match at 1-1 by scoring in the 28th minute on an error by Sunnyside in clearing the ball from its own half of the field.

It was all Sunnyside from there, though, as the Lady Grizzlies scored two quick goals just a minute apart to go up 3-1 at the half. Sunnyside's second goal was scored by Erica Garcia, who collected a ball that had bounced off the Lion keeper's hands and booted it in for the goal.

The third, and what proved to be deciding goal, found the back of the net when Karla Osorio scored on an assist by Van Oostrum.

Kennewick threatened to make it a match in the second half by scoring in the 70th minute of play.

But Van Oostrum again stepped up, clinching the win by drilling a goal from 30 yards out with just five minutes left in regulation. She was assisted by Perla Ibarra.

"It was a very, very good win," said Sunnyside Coach Sylvia Villagrana.

She says the score doesn't indicate just how lopsided the match was in Sunnyside's favor.

"We dominated both halves of the game," she says.

Villagrana said both of Kennewick's goals came on crucial Sunnyside errors, plus the Lady Grizzlies had a fifth goal called back due to a controversial off-sides call. The coach said her players hesitated a few times on offense or there might have even been more Sunnyside scores.

The stats back her up, as Sunnyside keeper Perla Ponce only had to make four saves, while the Lady Grizzly offense pounded 22 shot attempts at the Kennewick goal.

"The girls were very alert. All week long I told them we needed to go out there and play our hardest," Villagrana said.

The Lady Grizzlies' offensive splurge after going scoreless for so long was in part due to improved teamwork, as well as the switch of Van Oostrum to midfield and Ana Lugo to the back, the coach said.

Villagrana added that Sunnyside's solid play on defense after giving up an average of five goals in each of the previous six games was due to communication. She also noted the defense was helped by the play of JV players, including freshman Victoria Munoz, recently promoted to varsity. "She pushed up on the right side," Villagrana said of the freshman.

The Lady Grizzlies will look to make it two wins in a row when they start the second half of the league season at Hanford tomorrow, Tuesday.

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