Lady Hawks rally twice to down Pirates in season opener
Denny’s hat trick, two goals by Fix lead Cheney to 5-3 win over Rogers of GSL
Cheney girls soccer head coach Nils Radtke said last Saturday’s friendly with the Greater Spokane League’s Rogers High School had some similarities with the 2012 Lady Hawks, and a huge difference. The similarities were Cheney’s propensity to give up quick early goals.
“The huge difference was we battled back and were able to win,” Radtke said of the Lady Hawks 5-3 season-opening victory.
Twice Cheney allowed Rogers to score in the opening minutes of each half, the first time four minutes into the game and the second coming eight minutes into the second half, giving the Pirates 1-0 and 2-1 leads. Each time however, Cheney midfielder Sarah Fix provided the response.
Fix floated in a 30-35 yard shot from straight on in the 10th minute to tie the game at 1, and knotted the game again at 2 off a nice little bit of “give and go” with defender Reba Eaton to quickly answer the second score.
After that, it was the Amanda Denny show. The junior midfielder proved virtually unstoppable in notching a second-half hat trick propelling the Lady Hawks to the win.
Denny’s first goal came soon after Fix’s second, possessing a high-hit ball just outside the 18-yard box, dribbling a couple times and launching a shot for Cheney’s first lead.
Kendyl Cone connected with Denny on a nice corner kick score to make it 4-2, and after the Pirates capitalized on a defensive breakdown for a goal pulling them to within 4-3, Denny scored again near the end of regulation, bouncing a shot from about 15 yards out that went through the Rogers goalkeeper’s hands and into the net.
Cheney out shot the Pirates 12-8. The Lady Hawks win was tempered a bit when senior forward Ashlyn Martin went down with a leg injury late in the first half.
Radtke said X-rays revealed a mild LCL sprain in her knee, which would sideline her for a couple weeks, mainly to be conservative so as not to rush her back and risk further injury.
“The good news is she’s not done,” Radtke said.
Overall the second-year head coach was happy with his team’s play Saturday. Offensively the Lady Hawks dictated the course and tempo of the game, maintaining steady pressure on the Rogers back line and showing they have versatility in scoring options. Defensively there’s some work to be done with two of Rogers’ three goals coming from players being out of position and one when a ball was not adequately cleared.
The biggest change for Radtke was in his players’ attitude – particularly after each Pirates’ score.
“We never saw anyone put their head down after a score,” he said. “That’s definitely something we saw last year. We’re seeing more maturity.”
Cheney will have to continue its growth on the field of play instead of during practice as the Lady Hawks host three games this week, two in Great Northern League action. Deer Park and Colville come to town Tuesday and Thursday, while the GSL’s Lewis and Clark arrives for a Friday game.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.