YAKIMA - It was an overtime shootout that decided last night's match between Sunnyside and Eisenhower on Ike's home turf.
The Lady Grizzlies defeated what appeared to be overwhelming odds, getting four balls into the net in the shootout. Sunnyside keeper Macenzie Butler played her role in keeping Eisenhower from doing the same. The Cadets were successful on just three shootout kicks.
Neither team was able to get the ball between the crossbars in the opening half of the regulation match.
"The girls came out playing hard and with lots of confidence," Sunnyside Coach Sylvia Villagrana said of the match.
She said both teams showed good ball control and the Lady Grizzlies executed well in communicating with one another.
"My players were marking their players very well and I asked that we not give Ike much space in between," said Villagrana.
The scoreboard remained blank going into halftime, but Eisenhower got their first push just four minutes into the closing half.
Villagrana said there was a miscue in Sunnyside's defensive play and Judymar Leon of the Cadets was able to capitalize on the opportunity.
"Then at the 62nd minute my defense lost themselves for a few minutes...we left a mid(field player) from Ike open," Villagrana said, stating Cadet Holly Henneghan put the ball through the crossbars for Eisenhower's second goal.
"They really caught us off guard," said the Sunnyside coach.
She said the Lady Grizzlies, however, weren't giving up and she knew it.
"After those two goals, the girls fixed their errors and really pushed themselves like never before," Villagrana said with pride.
The Lady Grizzlies began marking their opponents, passing the ball to their teammates and were poised to score a goal.
It was in the final 10 minutes that all the hard work began to pay off.
Both teams demonstrated some frustration, but it was Sunnyside that took control of the ball. Susana Arreola moved past the Cadet defense, passed the ball to teammate Anna Perez and Perez booted the ball past the crossbars at the 77-minute mark.
With less than a minute before the regulation whistle, the Lady Grizzlies again spotted a scoring opportunity and hit paydirt. Jordan Rodriguez moved the ball on the outside and chipped it to Arreola, who equalized the match at 2-2.
Butler was instrumental in helping the Lady Grizzlies secure the victory, recording 14 saves.
Eisenhower keeper Ellie Alexander shut the door on the net 13 times.
Sunnyside (1-2, 2-3-1) recorded 20 shots on goal, while the Cadets made 17 direct attempts at the net.
"Everyone played well and did what I asked of them," said Villagrana, stating the Lady Grizzlies have a good reason to pat themselves on the back.