EAST WENATCHEE – After a sub-par opening 40 minutes, the Sunnyside Lady Grizzly soccer team rebounded in the second half last night before falling 3-1 in the regular season finale at Eastmont.
A tough trend it has had difficulty shaking all season, Sunnyside again surrendered a goal in the first five minutes of Tuesday night’s contest.
The Lady Grizzlies trailed 2-0 at the half, and Coach Sylvia Villagrana was concerned the match might get out of hand.
“I told the girls at halftime it’s now or never,” she said. Villagrana’s halftime chat evidently paid dividends as Sunnyside rallied with an impressive effort after the break.
“It was probably one of the best games we’ve played this season,” she said. “We had better communication and beautiful passing.”
One of those beautiful passes came in the 50th minute when Sunnyside’s Susana Arreola dished to Linda Carrillo in front of the Eastmont goal.
Carrillo gathered in the pass and headed it into the back of the net. “A beautiful goal,” said Villagrana.
That cut the Sunnyside deficit to 2-1 and the next 20-plus minutes saw the Lady Grizzlies have multiple chances to score the equalizer.
“It was a very tight match, the girls played to a higher competitive level,” Villagrana said.
It wasn’t until four minutes before the final whistle that Eastmont could finally relax following its third goal to seal the victory.
Sunnyside keepers Vanessa Loera and Victoria Torres combined for 16 saves to help keep the Lady Grizzlies within striking distance for much of the match.
Sunnyside (1-9, 5-10) now turns its attention to the postseason. The Lady Grizzlies host a loser-out playoff match against Kennewick at noon this coming Saturday. “We’ve got three days to practice and hope for a positive outcome,” said Villagrana.