Lady Hawks still looking for ingredients for more league wins
By JOHN McCALLUM
Cheney girls soccer head coach Nils Radtke said he’s tried about everything he can, books, video, different lineups, you name it, but hasn’t be able to find the magic touch to coax a couple more wins out of the Lady Hawks.
Cheney dropped both games last week to the Valley Schools, East and West, losing 3-1 Tuesday at home to the Knights and 4-0 to the Great Northern League-leading Eagles 4-0 on the road Thursday. Radtke said in both games the Lady Hawks had early scoring chances that might have changed the tone of the contest, but couldn’t capitalize on them.
“We need to capitalize on early (scoring) opportunities,” he said. “That helps build our confidence and our game.”
Cheney had a couple thru-balls early on against the Knights that were played towards junior forward Kendyl Cone, but couldn’t get the right touch to track down and push towards the goal. Meanwhile East Valley’s Chelsea Love put the Knights on the board with a goal in the 29th minute.
Love’s goal in the 52nd minute made it 2-0, and Skylar Bastin added a goal five minutes later. Cone’s goal in the 79th minute was Cheney’s only score, and the Lady Hawks out shot the Knights 10-8, with goalkeeper Nicole Rowley making five saves.
Thursday at West Valley it was more a physical Eagles team that led to the Lady Hawks loss, particularly in the backfield where Radtke said a couple of Cheney defenders got moved off the ball on two of West Valley’s goals. West Valley out shot Cheney 11-4 with Rowley making six saves.
At 3-7 in the league, 4-9 overall with nine points the Lady Hawks are currently sitting fifth in the standings and are relatively assured of a first-round, loser-out playoff game Oct. 31 at fourth-place Pullman. First, the Greyhounds (5-5, 6-5, 15 points) have to make a trip to Cheney this Thursday for the season finale.
Before that the Lady Hawks host third-place Clarkston (7-4, 9-4, 20 points) on Tuesday.
Radtke still believes the Lady Hawks can get at least one, and possible two wins this week, which would be a great way to enter the post-season, particularly if one of those wins comes against Pullman.
“We’ve definitely played teams better at our place than on the road,” he said. “We’re still trying.”
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.