Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

After win and loss, Lady Blackhawks prepare for East Valley


Last updated 10/11/2018 at 9:44pm

The Lady Blackhawks varsity soccer team overcame Clarkston 2-1 in a Great Northern League game on Oct. 2, but struggled to find their footing against West Valley Oct. 4.

Junior defender and forward Mackenzie Huotari was a standout on the pitch against Clarkston (5-6, 2-5,) scoring both goals for Cheney (7-5, 5-3) and ultimately securing them their victory. The Lady Blackhawks were down early in the sixth minute, but were able to come back in the second half and deliver the win.

“We were still shorthanded, especially since our starting keeper was still in Georgia for a family funeral,” head coach Nels Radtke said, speaking of senior Melissa Aris who has been the team’s final line of defense all season. But Radtke did bring up junior varsity keeper Sydney Regan, who has been performing consistently, he said.

Cheney then hosted West Valley, but from the very beginning did not perform to its usual standard. West Valley (7-4, 5-2) scored in the 29th minute thanks to Frankie Schade and the Lady Blackhawks were unable to equalize until the second half. A goal from Cheney briefly tied the match, but a penalty kick proved to make the difference, propelling the visiting Eagles to victory.

“From the start during our warm up I could tell we just weren’t focused,” Radtke said.

The team’s Oct. 11 match is setting up to be a tie-breaker of sorts between Cheney and East Valley, after the Lady Blackhawks destroyed the Lady Knights 5-0 on Sept. 6 and were defeated in return 4-3 on Sept. 25.

“Hopefully we’ll be the team that comes out as the aggressor in that game,” Radtke said.

The Lady Blackhawks have a history of being slow to warm up and perform to their full potential, and Radtke will be keeping this in mind, switching up the routine in practices to prepare them to come out strong right off the bat.

“From the start they’re going to be high intensity,” Radtke said. “I’ve been wondering if that’s one of the reason we’re starting slower is because the girls are used to that warm-up period in practice, so we’ll be working on that.”

Other than that, the team should have little to worry about and shouldn’t have to change much as they are objectively the better team in the league, Radtke said.

“We just gotta come out with that intensity,” he added.

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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