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Kamiakin Braves rally past Sunnyside in shootout

KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Grizzly soccer team couldn't make a 3-1 lead hold up as it fell in a shootout to host Kamiakin last Saturday.

Sunnyside grabbed the early advantage with a goal in the 15th minute by Javier Contreras.

After the Braves knotted the contest at 1-1 in the 27th minute, Armando Armenta gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead just before the half with a goal in injury time.

Sunnyside expanded its lead to 3-1 in the 57th minute when Osvaldo Valdez found the back of the net.

That put the Grizzlies up by two goals with barely 20 minutes to play in the match.

But a victory was not to be, as Kamiakin pulled closer with a goal in the 66th minute. The Braves' Mario Guizar then broke Sunnyside's heart with an equalizer goal with just two minutes left in the match.

The two teams played two scoreless overtime periods of five minutes each to set the stage for a shootout, where players step up in the penalty area to have a go at the keeper one-on-one.

Kamiakin keeper Riley Shulman was up to the task, stopping the first two Grizzly attempts in the shootout.

"Their keeper did an outstanding job, he's won two games for them this year in PKs (stopping penalty kicks)," said Sunnyside Coach David Guevara.

He also praised Kamiakin's heart.

"They shot for the whole 90 minutes of the match," Guevara said. "Kamiakin was the better team."

It was a match with possible playoff implications.

Kamiakin is clinging to the CBBN's sixth and final playoff berth, while Sunnyside is in fourth place - in good standing for a playoff berth but two games out of third place and the home playoff match that comes with it.

With third-place Pasco here tomorrow, Tuesday, Guevara says lessons need to be learned from the Kamiakin loss.

"We've got some mental preparation to do," he said. "We got the lead and got complacent. It's a matter of playing the whole time instead of just 65 minutes."

After hosting Pasco, Sunnyside (6-5, 7-5-1) travels to West Valley this coming Saturday before closing out the regular season next Tuesday, May 1, with a home match against second-place Kennewick.

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