Lady Hawks end losing streak
If anything about last week’s Cheney girls soccer team’s 1-1 record is evident, it’s that they are making strides towards improving – giving what head coach Nils Radtke said is “something to build on.”
The Lady Hawks came very close to ending their losing streak Tuesday at Pullman, taking the early lead before eventually falling 2-1 in double overtime to the third-place Greyhounds. Thursday, the losing streak became part of history as Cheney smothered an out-gunned Deer Park squad 10-1 on the road in Great Northern League play.
“The first 60 minutes was the best 60 minutes we’ve played all season,” Radtke said of the Pullman game. “The last 20, we lost focus and struggled, started playing long ball and got away from our game plan.”
Part of that 60 minutes, and a big stride, was that Cheney scored first, rather than their opponent. Kendyl Cone gave the Lady Hawks the 1-0 advantage by capitalizing on Pullman’s playing a bad ball, making a steal, tapping around a couple defenders and launching a solid shot into the net in the 12th minute.
“It was her being in the right place at the right time,” Radtke said.
Pullman’s Anne Mari Petrino’s goal 12 minutes later knotted the score, which is where it stayed through regulation and into the final minute of the second overtime where Maddi Cillay knocked in a deflection off the crossbar for the win.
Pullman out shot Cheney 9-6 with Nicole Rowley making five saves for the Lady Hawks.
Thursday it was the Stags who struck first, scoring just two minutes into the game. And while that could have led to a “Oh no, here we go again” moment for Cheney, Radtke said his team’s response was anything but that.
Amanda Denny answered with a goal in the sixth minute, assisted by Cone and two minutes later Cone’s solo goal gave Cheney the lead for good. Cone notched two more goals while Denny had another score along with two assists, one to Olivia Swenson for a goal before the half as Cheney built a 6-1 lead.
Denny and Cone both ended up with four goals apiece with Jasmine McCauley adding the Lady Hawks final score in the 61st minute. Radtke said it wasn’t his intention to run the score up on the Stags, who were beaten 13-0 by East Valley Tuesday, but Cone’s and Denny’s final scores all came quickly in the second half before he could lift them for his bench.
Cheney out shot Deer Park 15-4 with Rowley making one save and Paige Lewis two.
The Lady Hawks, 4-6 overall, 3-5 GNL, nine points, hope to keep their success going this week, returning to the road for games in Colville, 3-6, 2-4, six points, Tuesday and a non-league match up Thursday evening at Ephrata, 5-4, 4-0 Central Washington Athletic Conference.
The Lady Hawks last win before the six-game losing streak came over the Indians, 4-0 Sept. 13. Radtke said the Tigers are still talking about last year’s game, won 4-3 by Ephrata in a shootout after Cheney rallied from a 3-1 deficit with two goals in regulation.
Radtke said the team is feeling better about their play, and getting healthier too, and is in a good spot to build towards the playoffs, especially now that a five-game road stretch is almost over. After Ephrata, three of Cheney’s final four games are at home against league opponents.
“I’m excited to see what we’ll do with those teams the second time around,” he said.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.