Russo scores four as Vikings fallPublished 10:48pm Monday, May 7, 2012
Ali Russo was a one-person wrecking crew for visiting Kalamazoo Central as the Maroon Giants defeated Niles 4-1 in Big 16 Conference West Division soccer Monday.
Russo had all four goals, including a hat trick in the final 40 minutes.
“We had one player to stop and that was No. 12,” Niles coach Jo Schau said. “We knew that before the match started. We let her take control. For one player to score four goals, that’s a lot. We have to work on how we can shut down a player.”
Russo scored the lone goal of the first half in the 31st minute.
Her second goal just six minutes into the second half turned out to be the game winner. At the time, it gave the Maroon Giants a 2-0 advantage.
Niles responded quickly and cut the lead in half on a goal from Samantha Wolkens in the 52nd minute. Margaret Hoff got the assist.
It would remain 2-1 and Niles seemed to have the momentum until Russo got loose again, this time in the 70th minute to seal the victory. Her fourth and final goal came six minutes later.
“I thought we were in it,” Schau said. “We fought back. If we take her away, what’s the score? It’s fantastic to have a player like that you can mold a team around. We just couldn’t find anyone to match up and shut her down.”
Kalamazoo Central held a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal against the Vikings.
Eva Nemeth was credited with six saves, several of which kept the match close through the first 60 minutes.
Kalamazoo Central 1, Niles 0
KC – Ali Russo 31st minute
KC – Russo 46th minute (Toriyana Boone assist)
N – Samantha Wolkens 52nd minute (Margaret Hoff assist)
KC – Russo 70th minute
KC – Russo 76th minute
Shots on goal
Central 2 (Grace Kiel)
Niles 6 (Eva Nemeth)