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Grizzlies fend off Hanford for 4-2 win

Javier Contreras scored two first half goals to help the Sunnyside Grizzly boys soccer team to a 4-2 league win over Hanford yesterday.

The host Grizzlies built a 3-0 lead at the half in Tuesday's league contest, thanks in part to having a gusty wind at their backs.

Edgar Aguilar opened up the scoring for Sunnyside with a goal in the 15th minute. "He beat a couple of guys and took it by himself," said Sunnyside Coach David Guevara.

Contreras found the back of the net in the 20th minute on an assist by Enrique De La Cruz. Contreras then struck again in the 35th minute when he was assisted by Abel Martinez.

"Those were both great scores," Guevara said of Contreras' goals. "We've been practicing sending crosses over and we were able to connect on those two goals."

Sunnyside and the Falcons switched sides of the field in the second half, which meant the wind advantage went Hanford's way over the final 40 minutes.

For example, Sunnyside outshot Hanford 8-to-2 in the first half and in the second half the Falcons enjoyed a 7-to-4 shot advantage.

Guevara said the wind was so drastic that a ball in the air would either fall quickly to the ground or soar upfield, depending on the direction of the gusts.

Wind-aided Hanford finally cracked the scoreboard in the 50th minute, then followed with a goal in the 68th minute on a penalty kick to close within 3-2.

Oswaldo Lopez provided the Grizzlies an insurance goal in the 75th minute to seal the victory.

Guevara noted keeper Cristian Vargas recorded five saves in the second half to help keep the Falcons at bay. Guevara also praised a new defensive strategy by fellow coach Sergio Licona Sr.

"Coach Licona installed a 5-3-2 and that stiffened our defense when we had the wind against us," Guevara said.

Max Ramos recorded two saves as keeper during the first half for Sunnyside.

Sunnyside (1-1, 2-1-1) returns to action this Saturday to play Southridge at Kennewick's Lampson Stadium for an 11 a.m. contest.

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