EAST WENATCHEE - The Sunnyside Grizzly soccer team has one last chance to earn a State berth after suffering a 2-1 loss to Eastmont yesterday.
This coming Saturday the Grizzlies will face Mt. Spokane at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. The loser will go home and the winner earns the opportunity to play in the State playoffs.
Sunnyside yesterday had an opportunity to defeat Eastmont, but Grizzly Coach David Guevara said his players just couldn't hold off the Wildcats to the end of the match.
"We dominated the first 61 minutes of the match," said the coach.
Sunnyside was the first to score a goal yesterday. Grizzly Abel Martinez went on the attack from a throw-in and connected with teammate Javier Contreras in the 11th minute of the opening half.
Contreras took the ball to the goal box and kicked it past the Eastmont defense to score a goal over the head of the keeper.
Sunnyside maintained the 1-0 lead until the 61st minute of the match. That's when Eastmont tied it up 1-1.
Joe Villa of the Wildcats moved the ball past the Grizzly defenders and kicked it past the crossbars unassisted.
It took nine minutes of breaking down the Grizzly defense again, but Eastmont's Yonathan Rodriguez was successful, scoring the winning goal in the 70th minute.
Guevara said those nine minutes were filled with controversial calls and the Sunnyside team believed there was a foul committed by the Wildcats at the time of the final goal.
"Eastmont, however, is too talented to shut them down through the entire match...we played our game, but some calls just didn't go our way," said Guevara.
He said the Grizzlies will be working on setting the pieces back in place and recovering from a few injuries suffered yesterday before taking on the Mt. Spokane Wildcats on Saturday.
"The Grizzlies left it all out on the field yesterday," said Guevara, stating he is pleased with how well his team played against Eastmont and throughout the season.
"We've been pretty solid and seem to lose (many matches) by just a point," he said.
Yesterday's match, said Guevara, ended pretty evenly with 12 shots on goal for each team.
Sunnyside keeper Christian Vargas recorded five saves and was relieved in the final minutes of the match. Back-up keeper Angel Cuevas denied the Wildcats from scoring one goal.
Eastmont's keeper denied Sunnyside six times.