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GNL soccer: Cheney wins showdown

Mark Kiver, Cheney’s first-year boys soccer coach, made no effort to downplay the importance of his team’s 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Medical Lake Tuesday afternoon in Medical Lake.

“It’s a big win for us for a lot reasons,” Kiver said, after watching Forester Seipp, Austin Walker and Jacob Mager score goals against the Cardinals’ stingy defense to give his two-time State 2A runners-up sole possession of first place in the Great Northern League standings. “But one of the biggest is that it came against a great team and, hopefully, will set the tone for the second half of our league season.”

Medical Lake (7-1-1, 6-1-0 GNL) had given up only one regulation goal and had outscored its first six league rivals 17-0 heading into the showdown at Shepard Park. But Cheney (8-1-0, 7-0-0) used its experience, speed and muscle up front to torch the Cardinals three times and keep its GNL record unblemished at the season’s halfway point.

Seipp got the Blackhawks started in the 23rd minute, after his pass to Jose Ferrari was deflected directly back to him for an uncontested – and successful – shot on goal.

Walker, on an assist from Mager, made it 2-0 for Cheney just before intermission.

Mager capped the scoring with an early second-half goal that was set up when teammate Dan Igbinoba’s throw-in pass bounced over the head of a Medical Lake defender directly in front of the Cardinals’ goal.

Medical Lake coach Zane Higgins, while expressing disappointment over the loss, seemed pleased with his team’s overall play and admitted Cheney’s speed up front was the difference.

“There are a few other individuals in our league that have that same kind of speed, but there is no team that has multiple players that fast, like Cheney does,” he said. “They just have speed all over the place.

“Still, I thought we did a pretty good job against them. We were possessing the ball in their end and attacking, but we just didn’t finish the play and get many quality shots off.”

Andrew Wilson, Cheney’s senior goaltender, turned back six Medical Lake shots – a couple from point-blank range – and was instrumental in keeping the young defenders in front of him on task.

“We have a great goalkeeper in Andrew, who communicates well and is a great student of the game,” Kiver said. “I think he’s going to be a coach some day, because he’s always letting our young defenders know where they should be and what they should be doing. And I think that has really helped them grow.”

Pullman 1, West Valley 0: Nick Stevens scored a goal with an assist from Malte Lang in the 65th minute to lift the Greyhounds (5-4, 5-2) over the Eagles (3-5, 2-5) at WV.

Deer Park 7, Colville 0: Jared Attridge had three goals and an assist and Victor Tardelli scored twice as the Stags (5-3, 4-3) shut out the visiting Indians (1-7, 0-7).

Clarkston 4, Riverside 1: Austin Durfee’s three goals led the visiting Bantams (4-4, 3-4) over the Rams (1-8, 1-6).