Niles knocks off BulldogsPublished 12:01am Friday, August 26, 2011
The Niles Vikings boys’ soccer team hosted Wolverine conference opponent Otsego on Thursday afternoon and found itself trailing 2-0 after the first 15 minutes of play before the Vikings rallied for the 3-2 victory.
The Bulldogs proved to be a worthy opponent as they scored first with a goal at 13:15 of the first half and scored again just two minutes later as the Viking defense got mixed up trying to find their marks.
Trailing 2-0 after just 15 minutes of play, the Vikings regrouped and battled back.
Graham Hoppstock played the ball up the field through the Otsego defense and found teammate Cicone Palmore, who got a shot passed the Bulldog goalkeeper at the 28:29 mark of the first half and put the Vikings right back into the match at 2-1.
Just under three minutes later, Palmore would tie the game with his second goal of the contest off an assist from Cole Allison.
With the game all square at two goals each and less than 10 minutes remaining in the half, Niles’ Cole Krassow got off a shot from outside the box that deflected off the Otsego goalie and into the net giving the Vikings the 3-2 lead.
“After getting down 0-2 early in the game, I was happy to see how we responded,” said Niles coach Jerry Holtgren. “Some teams shut down after a couple of quick goals, but we fought right back with patient play and attacking their flat four defense by splitting the seams.”
Playing with the lead in the second half, Niles continued to attack the Bulldogs offensively, but neither team was able to score and the Vikings held on for the victory.
“Otsego is a quality opponent and was our first real test of the year,” claimed Holtgren. “Cicone Palmore continues to attack aggressively and has become a valuable scorer for us. Our defense, led by Joey Austin, made some good adjustments after Otsego’s early goals.”
Niles will next play cross-town rival Brandywine on Saturday in a rematch of the Vandenberg Tournament championship game, which the Vikings won 8-0.