By JOHN McCALLUM
For the first 40 minutes the Cheney girls' soccer team hung with Ferris of the Greater Spokane League in non-league action last Friday.
It was the last 40 minutes that proved the Lady Hawks undoing as the visitors from Spokane scored six goals to come from behind for a 6-1 win in the season opener for both schools. Cheney's loss spoiled the debut of new head coach Nels Radtke, who took over this summer for former head coach Robyn Smith, who moved to Pullman to become an assistant principal at the middle school there.
The Lady Hawks drew first blood and drew it early against the Saxons. Seven minutes into the game midfielder Kendyl Cone managed to center a ball from the left side to Katie McNair in Ferris territory. McNair worked the defense and passed ahead and past a sliding tackle by the Saxon goalkeeper to a sprinting Chae Brown, who used patience in dribbling closer before putting in a three-foot shot into the open goal.
Cheney's offense missed a couple scoring chances after that, but it was the Ferris offense that began to take charge and it was only a matter of time before they broke through. The Saxons tied the score in the 43rd minute and took the lead, as it turned out for good, two minutes later. A goal in the 62nd minute made it 3-1 against what looked like a tired Cheney squad, and Ferris added insurance scores in the 73rd, 75th and 77th minutes.
Ferris out shot Cheney 21-5.
The Lady Hawks continue their non-league schedule this week in preparation for the coming Great Northern League campaign, hosting Lakeside of the Northeast A League on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and GSL power Lewis and Clark Thursday, Sept. 6. Lakeside went 9-8 in 2011, losing in the state tournament's opening round to La Salle while the Tigers were 14-3 in the GSL, losing to Mead in the game for the league's second slot to state. LC beat Cheney 3-1 in the opener for both schools last year.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.