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Edwardsburg blanks Niles in district semis

Published 9:22am Thursday, October 22, 2009

By DON EDEN
Niles Daily Star

STEVENSVILLE – The experienced Edwardsburg Eddie soccer team overwhelmed Niles in a District 2 semifinal Wednesday with a 4-0 shutout after scoring three goals in six minutes and 25 seconds midway through the second half.

Senior forward Dan Holston assisted on consecutive throw-ins from nearly the identical spot to find juniors Andy Boyles and Marcus Albrecht in front of the Viking net to break open a 1-0 contest.

Holston converted an assist hat trick soon after with his foot as he led classmate Chris Hotrum alone for the final tally.

“Dan can throw the ball pretty good and he put some dangerous balls in front of the goal,” noted Edwardsburg coach Ryan Rosenkrantz. “I was not happy with only a one goal lead at half as momentum can change very quickly.”

Edwardsburg (16-2) scored the only goal in the first half after just over 18 minutes when junior Zac Huff passed backward to Albrecht, who made no mistake shooting on the move to send the ball past freshman goalkeeper Ryan Casey into the lower left corner of the net.

Starting for Niles (6-11-2) were six sophomores along with Casey as the Vikings played the entire year with Christopher Schuck being the lone senior on the squad.

“Schuck was a good leader for us this year and led by example and actions,” said Niles coach Jerry Holtgren. “I am excited about our youth and the continuity will come with working on individual skills as the future looks bright.”

The Vikings had a chance to even the score early in the second half, but two twenty yard blasts went over the top bar and Schuck hit the side post after the pair of throw-in goals as each team played on artificial turf for the first time this year.

“This was the first time to play on turf this year and it is different, but I guess the weather might be bad for another element to deal with,” stated Rosenkrantz as he looked ahead to the next contest.

“Initially it made a difference playing on turf for the first time as the speed of play changes, but Edwardsburg is a good, quick team and give them a lot of credit,” explained Holtgren. “They tired us out with all their movement and put a lot of pressure on us defensively, so we couldn’t get any momentum.”

The Lakeland Conference champions had 22 shots while holding Niles to nine attempts with corner kicks also going to the Eddies by a 4-1 advantage. Edwardsburg will now advance to the finals against Sturgis, who won on a shootout against Lakeshore by a 3-2 margin after the two ranked teams couldn’t score after 110 minutes of action.

“Moving up with the big boys is rewarding to be in the district final, but Sturgis is one of our two losses (4-0) and beat us pretty good early in the year,” commented Rosenkrantz. “We are better but they are too so the guys need to be ready on Saturday to try for revenge as anything can happen.”

Saturday at 11 am will be the championship encounter at Lakeshore’s football stadium for the District 2 soccer trophy.

Edwardsburg…4
Niles…0
Halftime score

Edwardsburg 1, Niles 0
First half
ED – Marcus Albrecht 18th minute (Zac Huff assist)
Second half
ED – Andy Boyles 57th minute (Dan Holston assist)
ED – Albrecht 58th minute (Holston assist)
ED – Chris Hotrum 64th minute (Holston assist)

Shots on goal
Edwardsburg 10 – 12 (22); Niles 3 – 6 (9)
Saves
Ryan Housing (ED) 2 – 2 (4); Ryan Casey (N) 4 – 5 (9)
Corner kicks
Edwardsburg 2 – 2 (4); Niles 1 – 0 (1)

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