Mattawan blanks Niles kickersPublished 10:09pm Monday, April 22, 2013
The Niles girls soccer team got the chance for one of the few times this spring to play in some nice weather Monday against Mattawan.
Unfortunately, for the Vikings, the weather was the lone positive in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division match.
A shorthanded Niles squad didn’t spend much time in the sun as Mattawan needed only a half to post an 8-0 mercy-rule win over the Vikings.
After Niles shook hands and congratulated Mattawan, the Viking players huddled together and heard from their coach Jo Schau.
“Just to play as a unit and never give up,” said Schau about her message to the team. “It’s easy to put somebody down. That’s doesn’t help you win a game. We were very negative to each other out there. When you’re negative you really fall apart as a team and we fell apart. We were just back on our heels. Once they got one and two goals we felt we couldn’t get the job done. When you think you can’t then you don’t. I told our team (after the match) that you always have to believe that you can.”
Niles, which fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the West Division, were hurt defensively playing without starting goalie Eva Nemeth.
“She missed her first block of class (Monday),” Schau said about why Nemeth didn’t play. “When you miss a class you’re not allowed to practice or play.”
Junior Kierra Fillwock filled in for Nemeth and finished with eight saves. It was Fillwock’s first varsity soccer game.
“She was a softball player,” Schau said about Fillwock. “She came out a week ago for us and has just practiced.”
Schau was asked if she could bring somebody up from the junior varsity to play keeper.
“We have two keepers on the junior varsity and one is just coming back from an injury,” Schau said. “This was her first day back today. She had no contact or practice for a week and a half.”
Evangeline VanDyke scored four goals to lead Mattawan, which improved to 2-2-1 overall and 1-0 in the West Division.
“(VanDyke) has scored a couple goals for us this year,” said Mattawan coach Ann Ponicki. “She’s definitely our go-to girl.”
Emilee Taylor added two goals, while Lannie Welsh and Alexis French each scored once.
“Our goal was come out and play intense and we did that,” Ponicki said. “We can put the ball in the net when we come out ready to play.”
All 25 shots on goal were booted by Mattawan.
“They made us play the ball longer and that isn’t to our benefit,” Schau said. “We were chipping the ball up and their keeper came up and grabbed it. We just weren’t able to possess, but we also weren’t moving. They were more physical and stronger and we were letting them be that way. We weren’t standing up to the them.”
Mattawan 8, Niles 0
M_Evangeline VanDyke 35:47
M_Emilee Taylor (Lannie Welsh) 24:11
M_VanDyke (penalty kick) 19:38
M_Alexis French 14:55
Shots on goal
Mattawan 25, Niles 0
Jenna Fassbender (M) 0
Kierra Fillwock (N) 8
Mattawan 5, Niles 0