Niles' Graham Hoppstock scored a goal in the Vikings’ 5-2 loss to Mattawan Tuesday. (Leader photo/File)

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Mattawan wins heated battle with Vikings

Published 10:21pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There was plenty of offense and heated moments in the second half of Tuesday’s boys soccer match between Niles and Mattawan.

Four goals over the final 11:23 helped the Wildcats claim a 5-2 Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division win.

Over the final 40 minutes, six goals were scored, three penalty kicks were shot, Mattawan coach Kirt Brown was issued a yellow card and Niles coach Dave Jacobs protested a non-call on some physical play that injured one of his players.

“I think we played well,” said Jacobs when asked to describe the second half play. “I can’t blame the officiating, but it wasn’t good.”

“Couple of feisty teams getting after it,” said Brown. “Three PK’s and it was awkward and unfortunate for them. Maybe they didn’t have as much gas in the tank as we had. My guys hung in there. We’re beat up right now. I lost six guys (injuries) in our last game.”

The intensity in the match increased when Niles got a 25-yard free kick goal from Graham Hoppstock with 24 minutes left in the contest. That goal gave the Vikings a 2-1 lead. Niles had trailed 1-0 at halftime.

“Graham can hit those,” Jacobs said when asked if he was surprised when the goal was scored. “Be aware.”

The clock was stopped while Brown argued with officials for several minutes after the goal was scored. The Wildcats coach was eventually given a yellow card.

“I was just making my point,” Jacobs said. “I’m never going to get a red card. That (official) raised his flag (for offsides). It’s bothersome when you’re a coach and an official will raise his flag and then take it down. It’s a matter of principle.”

Niles kept its 2-1 lead until 11:23 left in the match when Mattawan got its second goal of the contest from Alex Grainger. Grainger, who scored off a corner kick in the first half, scored from five yards in the second half.

Less than two minutes after that goal, Niles’ Chase Hullinger got hurt while in a skirmish with a Mattawan player. Jacobs thinks that Hullinger, who didn’t return, suffered a hip-pointer.

“The momentum then totally changed and that was big,” Jacobs said. “It was our fault too for losing our heads and not keeping our composure. You’re not going to get every call. (Hullinger) will be alright.”

Without Hullinger, Mattawan went on to score three goals off penalty kicks in the final 9:56. Mattawan’s Austin Herrington and Aanand Patel scored on penalty kicks and Nicholas King scored off his own penalty kick deflection.

Jacobs was asked what the calls were on the penalty kicks.

“Not good,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t see a single one that was worth a call. There wasn’t a handball call on any of those. The first one was a push and I don’t know what the other two were.”

The lone goal in the first half came from Grainger on a header off a King corner kick with 11:22 left in the first half.

Niles was outshot 7-2 in the first half before rallying in the second half.

“We didn’t really make any changes,” Jacobs said. “We just stuck to our system. Eventually, we create a lot more chances when we play our system. There weren’t a lot of chances in the first half, but we totally dominated the second half.”




Halftime score

Mattawan 1, Niles 0


First half

M – Alex Grainger (Nicholas King corner kick) 11:22


Second half

N – Stuart Coulston 34:43

N – Graham Hoppstock 24:00

M – Grainger 11:23

M – Austin Herrington (penalty kick) 9:56

M – King (penalty kick) 9:32

M – Aanand Patel :57


Shots on goal

Mattawan 16, Niles 6



Mattawan 0 (Elijah Michaels)

Niles 9 (Ryan Casey)



Mattawan 6-2, 1-1 SMAC West Division; Niles 4-2, 0-2 SMAC West Division


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