September 26, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 23

Lady Hawks look to put blowouts behind them with renewed intensity

For Cheney girls’ soccer head coach Nils Radtke, what’s in the past is just that – in the past. Over with, done, time to move on.

The Lady Hawks got blitzed in a pair of losses last week, 5-0 in non-league action at 1A Lakeside and 7-0 at Great Northern League opponent East Valley. In both games Cheney fell behind early and fell behind big before the half, getting out shot by their opponents 29-6.

“Those are over with and the good news is we’re still 2-1 in league,” Radtke said. “It’s a new week. It’s a great opportunity to do something exciting this week.”

Radtke said he takes the blame for some of what happened, choosing a less intense practice on Monday after the loss to Lewis and Clark, culminating a stretch of playing four games in seven days, instead of perhaps going a little harder in order to keep his team’s focus. That carried over through the week as Cheney didn’t really come out to play in either game, falling behind 3-0 Tuesday against the Eagles and 5-0 Thursday against the Knights.

Injuries have also played a part. Senior Ashlyn Martin’s knee is still questionable, an MRI was scheduled Monday to ascertain the extent of the injury, while Amanda Denny is battling back issues and Sarah Fix hip troubles. Radtke said it’s the “wear and tear” of playing a lot of soccer.

The good news Radtke said is the team had a good practice Friday after East Valley, watching video of the game and then going through an “intense 45 minutes” at the end. The goal is when game time comes to “be ready, be intense” Radtke added.

The Lady Hawks hope that renewed focus carries into action this week as Cheney faces a pair of improved GNL foes in West Valley, Tuesday at home, and Clarkston Thursday on the road. The Eagles lost in the 2A state playoffs’ opening round last year to West Valley-Yakima, and are off to a 5-1 start, 3-1 in the GNL, this season.

West Valley’s lone loss however is to Clarkston, 3-2, at Clarkston. The Bantams (2-2) were much improved last year, finishing 8-6 overall, but were upset in the league playoff’s, loser-out opening round by Cheney, 1-0.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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