Niles soccer team played to 2-2 drawPublished 7:21am Friday, August 28, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Niles Daily Star
A bit of bad luck kept the Niles soccer team from picking up a non-conference win over visiting Otsego on a very wet and chilly Thursday night.
Niles scored first in both halves, but a penalty kick and a ball that deflected off of a Viking defender forced a 2-2 tie with the Bulldogs.
Devin Nyers scored in the ninth minute off a cross from Sustin Wright to stake the Vikings to a 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later, a penalty kick after Niles was called for pushing in the box, tied the match at 1-1.
The score would stay tied the remainder of the first half.
The rain, which started out as nothing more than a sprinkle, escalated throughout the match and really picked up steam in the second half.
Nonetheless, Niles dented the scoreboard again in the 45th minute as Derrick Nzabakira bent a corner kick into the goal.
It appeared to bounce off an Otsego defender and past the goalkeeper.
Niles would hold on to that one-goal advantage for the next for the next 29 minutes until the Bulldogs scored with less than three minutes remaining.
On a dead ball, the kick bounced off a Niles player and into the goal for the tying score.
“It was a fairly even contest as the score shows,” Niles coach Jerry Holtgren said. “We were able to create some great scoring opportunities tonight and could have put the game away on numerous occasions. We missed four breakaway attempts and that is something, especially against better teams, we can’t afford to do.
“We also let Otsego tie the score with under three minutes left on a dead ball. That is an area we need to improve on as well,” he added.
Holtgren also noted the play of his outside defenders, Cole Krassow and Cicone Palmore.
“They really shut down Otsego on the outside,” he said. “On a positive note, every game we have played has been highly competitive. Hopefully we will learn to close out games and make these close games wins.”
Niles will take on cross-town rival Brandywine at noon on Saturday.
Otsego 1, Niles 1
N – Devin Nyers 9th minute (Dustin Wright assist)
O – 13th minute (penalty kick)
N – Derrick Nzabakira 45th minute
O – 78th minute
Shots on goal