Niles' Jonathan Eddy passes the ball forward against Sturgis Tuesday afternoon. (Daily Star photo/SCOTT NOVAK)
Niles' Jonathan Eddy passes the ball forward against Sturgis Tuesday afternoon. (Daily Star photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Niles soccer team drops 4-1 decision

Published 9:14am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

By SCOTT NOVAK
Niles Daily Star

Speed definitely was a factor Tuesday afternoon as Niles hosted Sturgis in a Big 16 Conference non-divisional match.

The Trojans had the advantage in the speed department and used it in scoring a 4-1 victory over the Vikings.

Still, despite the final score, Niles was in the match from beginning until the closing seconds when Sturgis tacked on a late goal to open up a three-score margin.

“We played a competitive contest and were in the game until the last goal with a couple of minutes remaining,” Niles coach Jerry Holtgren said. “Sturgis is the quickest opponent we will see this year. They move the ball forward with great pace and try to wear the opponent down. They were able to achieve that objective against us tonight.”

Sturgis opened the scoring in the 12th minute when the Vikings failed to clear the ball out of the box.

The lead increased to 2-0 in the 23rd minute when the Trojans scored on one touch off a corner kick.

Niles was able to cut the lead in half in the closing stages of the first half.
Derrick Nzabakira dribbled past a Sturgis defender and then chipped the ball into the upper right corner of the goal over the Trojans’ keeper.

“I was happy with our intensity and the play of Cole Allison and Derrick Nzabakira,” Holtgren said. “They both applied good pressure defensively and positioned themselves well offensively.”

In the second half, Sturgis got a goal in the 42nd minute to make it a 3-1 contest.

The score remained that way until the 78th minute when a shot from 18-yards out ricocheted off the post and in.

“This is a game we can definitely learn from,” Holtgren said. “We know the areas that we need to work on now and can improve on these areas as we prepare for our conference games. Our team is a young one, and they have the right attitude. Because of this, I think we will continue to improve as a team and be competitive in our conference.”

Niles will open up West Division play on Thursday as it travels to Benton Harbor.

The Vikings’ junior varsity soccer team also came up a bit short on Tuesday, falling to Sturgis 3-2.

Sturgis…4
Niles…1
Halftime score

Sturgis 2, Niles 1

First half
S – 12th minute
S – 23rd minute
N – Derrick Nzabakira 34th minute

Second half
S – 42nd minute
S – 78th minute

Shots on goal
Sturgis – 14, Niles 6

Saves
Sturgis – 4
Niles – 9 (Derek Arguello)

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