Niles plays well in loss to LancersPublished 9:50am Friday, September 18, 2009
By STEVE MORRISON
Niles Daily Star
Normally a coach might be upset if its opponent shut out his team.
Despite a 3-0 home loss, Thursday to the Lakeshore Lancers, Niles Vikings soccer coach Jerry Holtgren displayed no negative emotions. Holtgren instead offered praise for his entire squad.
Lakeshore marched into Niles with a spotless 10-0 record and a No. 10 ranking in the state. With a little offensive luck the Vikings might have been able to pull off an upset of the highly touted Lancers.
It took a mere eight seconds to expire from the clock before Lakeshore middle fielder Ian Armstrong sent a towering 40 yard boot that landed in the net behind Derek Arguello, Niles’ keeper, for a 1-0 Lancer lead.
Great defensive play by Pierce Knoll, Cole Allison, Cicone Palamore, Jacob Stanage, and Cole Krassow kept the Vikes in the contest throughout the first half, but the hosts couldn’t get anything going on offense.
With a loose ball sitting in the middle, Lancer’s forward T.J. Moneta, rammed home a short 15-footer for a 2-0 Lakeshore lead at 25:07.
Arguello had some highlight saves in the game, stopping 11 of Lakeshore’s 13 first half shots on goal. His best effort may have snatching the ball in mid-air before Lakeshore’s Justin Brown could drive the ball home with a header.
With less than three minutes left in the first half, Kassim Dafa had a great chance to score for the Vikings when he broke away from the right side, but Lakeshore’s keeper Drew Kalinowski’s dive smothered Dafa’s attempt.
In the second half Niles’ Chris Schuck and Pierce Knoll set up Derrick Nzabakira for a header, but he barely missed the shot. Devin Myers guided the ball all the way up the field before Kalanowski made a great save on his boot. Nzabakira’s rocket was snared by Kalanowski moments later.
At 57:56, Lakeshore’s Justin Brown scored on a rebound over a prone Arguello, who had made yet another save. That was the third and final tally of the game.
“I think our whole defense played great,” Holtgran began, in a post-game interview. “They’re (Lakeshore) good and they handed St. Joe a dominating 3-0 loss. They played extremely well.”
Then Holtgren focused on his player’s efforts.
“Our whole defense played great. I think that Jacob Stanage and Pierce Knoll, our centers, played aggressive and played smart. They just captured every ball. I told them that they needed to tighten up on their marks, and they did that. Christian Rackley was great on the outside, great touch and accuracy,” he said.
“Derrick, Kassim up front and Devin Nyers tried a different system (on offense) today. We tried a 4-3-3 (alignment) today. We knew that we could work the ball over the top. The kids executed,” Holtgren stated.
Niles is now 3-6-2 for the record books, while Lakeshore is 11-0 this year.
Lakeshore 2, Niles 0
L – Ian Armstrong, 00:08
L – T.J. Moneta, 25:07
L – Justin Brown, 57:56
Shots on Goal
Lakeshore 7 (Drew Kalinowski)
Niles 10 (Derek Arguello)