The Cheney High boys soccer team had a busy week that included a 2-2 tie with University, March 30, a 2-0 shutout over Ephrata, March 31, and a 2-1 shootout loss to Great Northern League rival East Valley, April 2. This was the first league loss for the Blackhawks in four seasons.
During the University game, the Blackhawks made some adjustments after being down 1-0 in the first half, with Kelby Holland scoring a goal for Cheney in the 58th minute. The Titans took back the lead after a goal from Ty Haskew in the 75th minute. In the 78th minute, Spencer Yeager scored another goal from the top of the box.
University outshot Cheney, 15-7. The Blackhawks’ goalkeepers had 13 saves, with Austin Wallace stopping 10 and Kam Galm three.
“It’s nice to get a GSL (Greater Spokane League) foe like University,” head coach Mark Kiver said. “They are a great team to play.”
The Blackhawks carried their momentum from the University game into their nonleague match against Ephrata. William Bassebas put the Blackhawks on the scoreboard with a goal in the 23rd minute. In the second half, Cruz Galm scored at the 52nd minute on a penalty kick.
Cheney outshot Ephrata 8-3. Kam Galm made two saves and Wallace had one.
Against East Valley, Gabe Hemenway scored in the 31st minute to give the Blackhawks the lead. The Knights tied the match seven minutes later. After the end of regulation and two scoreless overtimes, East Valley won the shootout 4-2. In the shootout, Yeager and Noah Prophet scored goals for Cheney.
“Our first game against East Valley was tough, and it’s a little bit tougher playing in someone else’s house,” Kiver said. “We were fairly prepared for them, but we weren’t able to finish it.”
The Knights outshot the Blackhawks 9-8 with Kam Galm making eight saves.
Cheney is 4-1 in the GNL and 5-3-1 overall. The Blackhawks are tied for first place in the GNL standings with Pullman.
Kiver said there are some positions where players are fitting like a puzzle, an analogy he used at the beginning of the year.
“Someone different is stepping up each practice, we have a couple of different players who are among the top scorers in the league,” Kiver said. “It’s kind of nice and forces the other teams to focus on different players.”
After their April 7 match against the Greyhounds (4-1, 7-2), the Blackhawks travel to Clarkston to play the Bantams (1-6, 0-4) in a rematch April 14. Cheney defeated West Valley 2-1 in March. Kiver plans to give his team some time off after the Pullman game.
“The pieces are starting to fit into the right place and we are heading in the right direction,” Kiver said.