Lady Vikings looking to establish chemistry

Published 1:07 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Improvement is key to the Niles varsity soccer team.
The Lady Vikings slipped to 0-2-1 Wednesday night with a 3-0 loss to Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference West Division rival St. Joseph in the division opener, but head coach Denise Peters found positives in the midst of defeat.
With several players from last year lost to graduation and senior standout Michelle Malinowski out with a knee injury, Peters has been forced to find the right combination of players to fill the void.
Niles held the Bears scoreless in the first half, but gave up three second-half goals. Stacey Stickney scored the first goal on a free kick that was just out of reach of Niles goalkeeper Trish Clabaugh. Elizabeth Marschke scored the second goal when a shot was deflected by Clabaugh. Marschke picked up the deflection and sent it into the wide open net. Finally, Stickney scored again as she found herself wide open in the middle of the field.
St. Joseph outshot Niles 20-8 and Clabaugh finished with 14 saves.
Despite the defensive breakdowns in the middle of the field, Peters was pleased with other facets of the defense.
Niles returns to action Monday at Lakeshore for another SMAC West game.
Bridgman shuts out Buchanan
The Buchanan soccer team suffered a 3-0 loss to Bridgman Wednesday evening. The Bees are undefeated at 2-0.
Buchanan, which plays at Brandywine Friday night, took just five shots on goal while Bridgman peppered the Buchanan goal with 17 shots.
Buchanan goalkeeper Brittany Harrington had five saves.
Erin McElwain and Ashley Stanage each scored in the first half for Bridgman. Krystal Harfert added a goal in the second half.