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Page 4 Section 2 Free Press I Thursday, October 22, 2009 rd nals' calls R' de loss 'a g ant By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter On the scoreboard it was a 3-point defeat. But as far as Medical Lake coach Wes Hobbs is concerned, last Friday's 26-~23 Great Northern League football loss to Riverside on Homecoming might as well have been a much bigger margin. His team just didn't perform well enough as the Cardinals fell to 0-4 in the GNL and 2-5 overall. "Everyone else looks at it as a 3-point loss," Hobbs said. "Gee, darn and you guys are still doing great. Well, you know what, that's starting to get~ld," he added. "I just think it's a giant step backwards," Hobbs said. "I don't know how we could have possibly overlooked them, we have no right to overlook anybody." By looking at the game stats! it would be hard to figure how the Cardinals lost for the fourth straight Friday. Medical Lake held the advantage in both total yards, 394 to 293, plus rushing and passing and won the turnover battle, 4-2. "It's gut-check time! now," Hobbs said. "We've got three tough, tough weeks. We've got to go Deer Park, West Valley and Clarkston and we're going to find out what living's all about." Medical Lake head coach Wes Hobbs Individually, Medical Lake spread the ball around on the ground; Brendan Heikkila led the Cards with 78 yards on four carries. Tim Haynes ran 14 times for 74 vards. Jarrod Swanson added 23 yards rushing, plus an interception on defense. Nick Pacheco hit on 13 of 26 passes for 198 yards, a touchdown and one interception. Ryan Owens topped Cardinal receivers with three catches for 67 yards with Devon Prince rig ht behind with four grabs for 63 yards and a touch(Lown. ical By.PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter One rugged stretch of Me i- cal Lake's girls" soccer season is now behind the team and anoth, .~r awaits as the Cardinals close out the regular season portion of the Great Northern League sched- ule. And despite winning just twice in the last seven games, their coach is pretty happy with what he has seen and what lies ahead. "The way we're playing l think we're definitely picking up our game and getting stronger to- wards the end of the year," coach Zane Higgins said. Riverside's Justin Hodge has to leap on the back of the Cardinal ball carrier down in last Friday's 26-23 Medical Lake won both the early and late battles. Keyed by Heikkila's 50-yard run that took the ball to the Ram three, Haynes's scored with just 2:19 elapsed in 'the first quarter. It took just two plays for the Cards to get the ball back with Rams' quarterback Josh Davis throwing into double coverage and Pacheco emerged with the ball. The 13-play drive ended with a field goal from Chad Linafelter for a 10-0 lead with 1:51 left in the quarter. Linafelter was returning to the line- up for the first time since he was injured at Colville Oct. 2. Then things went south for Medical Lake as Riverside scored the next 26 points to lead 26-10. d Iosin Photo by Paul Delaney Medical Lake's Brendan Heikkila in an attempt to bring Great Northern League win by the Rams. That span was baffling for Hobbs who saw his team self-destruct again with silly penalties and plain umnspired play. "Right from the very beginning we started hav- ing penalties," he said. "We had more than our share in crucial situations." Missed assignments also kept the Cards off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Once again Medical Lake came up too little, too late. As the fourth quarter started, the ball changed hands twice in the first four plays. First, Riverside's Chase Florez intercepted a Pacheco pass on second down. The Rams kept the ball just one more play before Heikkila got his second Ram turnover, a fumble recovery on the Riverside 47 with just four seconds gone in the fourth quarter. Twelve plays later, Pacheco ran around the left side for a touch- down with 7:11 to go closing it to 26-16 after the pass for a 2-point conversion was tipped.away. Medical Lake's swarming defense made two huge plays on the next series, scoring a pair of quar- terback sacks, the first a 4-yard to Dewey Bender and then knocking Davis back another five for a fourth and 19 at the Rams" 22. Following a Riverside punt, the first play from scrimmage included trickery with Owens taking the handoff and then pitching to Heikkila who carried the ball to the Cardinal 45. After a couple of short gains, Pacheco found Owens for seven yards and a first down on a do- or-die fourth and five at the Ram 49. Then Prince caught a Pacheco pass down the right side and outran the defenders for the Cards' second score in 4:22. Linafelter's kick made it a 26-23 game with 2:49 to go. Medical Lake's squib kick was recovered by Riverside's Hunter Orgill at the Rams' 44. They would spend the next 2:44 burning clock before punting and giving the Cardinals the ball on their own 30 with just five seconds left. Pacheco had just one shot from 70 yards out and his heave never came anywhere close. "It's gut-check time now," Hobbs said. "We've got three tough, tough weeks. We've got to go Deer Park, West Valley and Clarkston and we're going to find out what living's all about." Medical Lake next travels to Deer Park (2-2 GNL, 5-2) this Friday at 7 p.m. "They're huge, they are huge," Hobbs said of the Stags. "They've got two really good backs. They've got a real good quar- terback, a real good tailback. They've got the full meal deal." Hobbs said Medical Lake was,"going to be real outmatched physically but that's the case every week. We're not in awe of that." Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com. k with shootout victory CI n The 1-0 shootout win last Thursday in Clarkston ~topped a three game losing streak - one a non-leaguer against Lakeside - and Higgins hopes better pre- pares his Cardinals for their last four games against the top teams in the GNL. "Four games in six days. It was a tough weeK" Higgins said of the stretch that included three straight shutout losses (3-0 to Lakeside, 4- 0 to Colville and 4-0 to Pullman) before the Clarkston win that evened their GNL record at 5-5, one point back of Deer Park who they faced at home this past Tues- day. Thursday the Cards travel to Pullman to meet the second-place Greyhounds. But that last contest is one that had Higgins liking what he saw. "I was extremely happy with how we played/' he said. "The first part of the game didn't offer a whole lot of scoring opportuni- ties," he said, but things opened up in the second 40 minutes and. beyond. "We were putting a lot of pressure on them," Higgins said. "We were really unfortunate not to get a goal. We had several great opportunities to score." So that ultimately left Medical Lake with having to not only play a pair of 5-minute overtimes, but engage the Bantams in a tense shootout as well. "They (Clarkston) shot first," Higgins said. "Their girl hit a nice shot to the corner. It was going in and (keeper) Natalie (Pendell) kind of came out of nowhere and just made a spectacular save on their very first shot. That kind of setthe tone for the rest." The second shot w6nt high and third was a save, Higgins said. Lindsey Campbell and Jenny Smith scored the decisive goals for the Cards. "We went two shots without a miss," Higgins said. "The shots were nearly perfect as the keeper never got a hand on them," he said. A day earlier Medical Lake hosted Pullman in a game that was rescheduled from Sept. 29 due to illness. The Cardinals trailed just 1-0 after the first 40 minutes which prompted Higgins to say, "That "could have easily been our best half of the season.' Hannah Adams and Niina A1- Hassan each had a goal and assist for the Greyhounds. The week began with a trip to Colville to play a team the Cards handled 3-0 earlier in the season. But that was with having forward Tasha Luu being kept in check by Medical Lake's defense. Higgins said, Medical Lake had a pair of unfortunate breaks in the second half that lead to Colville goals. One shot bounced in off a Medical Lake player while the other Pendell had but Higgins said was knocked -- illegally per- haps - out of her hands. Higgins said the way it's supposed to go is, "Once the keeper has it that's it." This week's games, while tough assignments, are ones Hig- gins seems to think are defirdtely winnable. Even at Pullman. Hig- gins said the way they played the last time against the Grey- hounds, "It will give us a little Win are still hard to come by for Medical Lake volleyball By PAUL DELANEY StaffReporter There's still just one win to show for a season's worth of work, but Medical Lake's vol- leyball team seems to be show- ing that there's progress being made. The Cardinals lost 3-0 to West" Valley last Tuesday and then fell 3-1 to Clarkston at home to fall to 1-9 in Great Northern League play before a road contest at Cheney this past Tuesday and hosting Pullman this Thursday (tonight) at 7 p.m. In some respects the Clarkston match showed new wrinkles that saw the Cards play tough in each of their games. Old habits, however, die hard and after splitting the first two matches, they dropped the next two and dropped into a tie for seventh with Deer Park. "It was a good match up for us," head coach Karl Jones said. "It was definitely better than the first time we played them," she said of the match against Clarkston. Luu's pair of first half goals, one a penalty kick, staked the In- dinals fell into their season-long trap of getting behind early -- they were down 20-8 at one point - before closing on a strong 6-1 run but lose 25-16. With Cassie Shoben showing off some new techniques at the net, and sharing the team lead in kills of 10 with Gabrielle Daily, the Cardinals rallied early to even the game and then staved off a late rally in-game two to win 25-23. The third game saw Medi- cal Lake race to a 5-1 early lead, later falling behind 21-16 before ultimately losing 25-21. In the fourth game, Clarkston broke away from a 9-9 tie with a 5-0 spurt before winning 25-17. "All four (games) were re- ally, really close, especially the one that we won and that third game where were ahead most of the time but just couldn't finish," Jones said. Myryda Johnson led the Cards with 10 assists while Daily topped the team in digs (7) and blocks (3). Emily Paulson had two aces. day they dropped the match by scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-18. Daily led the team in kills (5) and blocks (2) while Nissa Van Meter contributed eight digs. Johnson once again topped her team with six assists. Shoben's breakout perfor- mance drew praise from Jones. "She is definitely someone who is growing every day, whether it's in practice or in a game. I think that game just showed how far she's come," her coach said. "She was pulling stuff out that we just didn't expect from her," Jones continued. "She was find- ing ways to get kills and being just awesome at the net for us. "I think she's starting to pick up on that," Jones said. "That she can go ahead and swing away at one ball and the next time up she can tip it." It makes her harder to defend, the coacl~ explained. Matches with Pullman, Colville and Riverside - the top three of four in the GNL - plus Cheney wrap up the regular season for the Cardinals. Medi- rivals by two games prior to this past Tuesday's meeting. While the team's goal from the beginning of the season was to make it into the districts, time is quickly running out. "In order to do that we're going to have to win at least two of our next four. That's a big test," Jones said. "We definitely need to get some wins out of those next four and it doesn't matter who they're with," the coach said. However, as they shoot to climb past Cheney into the sixth and final spot in the standings, the ideal place to start seems quite evident. Paul Delaney can be reached at dians to a 2-0 first half lead. Then, confidence." Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com 1~ ! 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