WENATCHEE – The Sunnyside Grizzly soccer team overcame three injuries and a pesky Wenatchee team to earn a 3-2 CBBN victory last Friday.
It was the second consecutive match the undefeated Grizzlies had to settle after 80 minutes of regulation.
On Friday, though, Sunnyside and host Wenatchee were still tied at 2-2 following two overtime periods. That led to a shootout, and the Grizzlies prevailed with three made shots to just two for the hosts.
Christian Chavez, Enrique De La Cruz and Lupe Granados all connected for Sunnyside in the shootout, while Grizzly keeper Manuel Calvillo held Wenatchee at bay.
It looked like anything but last minute heroics would be needed Friday, as Sunnyside rolled out to a 2-0 first half lead thanks to Chavez goals in the 24th and 29th minutes.
The tide turned nearly midway through the second half when two Grizzly starters, Luis Licona and Jacob Meza, exited with injuries.
Already missing midfielder Noe Meza with a previous injury, Sunnyside had three reserves on the field following the additional two injuries.
Wenatchee took advantage of the transition and knotted the score with a pair of goals in a span of five minutes.
“It went from total domination by us in the first half, to them dominating in the second half,” said Sunnyside Coach David Guevara. “The game dramatically changed.”
Guevara, who shares coaching duties with Sergio Licona, said Grizzly defenders were able to right the ship over the final 30 minutes thanks to their “unity and leadership.”
The coach added, “They were able to pull it together. It’s wonderful to see these boys listen to Sergio, listen to me. They’re humble.”
Sunnyside (12-0) may have to pull together minus the three starters heading into the CBBN match scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, at Eastmont.
“We hope (we’ll) be ready, but we’re not going to sacrifice further injury,” Guevara said, noting Sunnyside has already clinched a postseason berth.
The goal, he says, isn’t to have a perfect regular season record but to gear up for the playoffs.
“The number one thing is to be healthy when we make that run.”