Niles soccer team slips past Bridgman 2-1
Published 11:12 pm Monday, October 11, 2010
By AMELIO RODRIGUEZ
Niles Daily Star
On an unusually warm October weekend in Southwestern Michigan, the Niles Vikings soccer team slipped past the visiting Bees of Bridgman in an unusual fashion on Saturday by the score of 2-1.
In what was expected to be a great game between two good soccer teams, this game lived up to the expectations.
Niles maintained control of the game in the first half as it put 12 shots on goal, but it just could not find the back of the net. Fortunately for the Vikings, neither could Bridgman as the teams would battle to a scoreless tie at the half.
Just over nine minutes into the second half of action, Bridgman would be awarded a direct kick deep in Niles’ end, and it would capitalize. Mid-fielder, Sammy Higgin would score for the Bees from 20-yards out making the score 1-0.
“When you are in that area you always want to put it on net, and Sammy put it in the right spot. I don’t think he could have put it any place else and scored. It just kissed the crossbar and went in. It was a good shot,” said Bridgman coach Woody Woolery.
Higgins’ goal just barely got over the hands of Niles goalie Derek Arguello and caught the bottom of the crossbar and bounced into the goal.
Niles would answer with just under 18 minutes left to play as sophomore Chase Hullinger would found the back of the net for the home team, as the visitors failed to clear the ball from their zone allowing Hullinger to get off a shot.
With the score tied 1-1 and time running down, and under seven minutes left to play Niles would take the lead for good in an “unusual” way.
Senior, Jonathan Eddy took the free kick from 40 yards out and sent the ball deep into Bridgman’s zone. In an attempt to clear the ball out, a Bridgman defender headed the ball into his own goal, giving the Vikings the 2-1 lead, and the win.
“Actually, I didn’t see it,” said Niles coach Jerry Holtgren about the game winner. “I was talking to one of my players and everybody started yelling and I heard it was an own goal. I’ve told our kids that when you apply pressure in the upper third (of the field) good things happen. Eddy has a good foot and he can hit the goal from that far out”, he continued.
Niles (10-6-2) will now prepare for District play, while Bridgman (11-6) will host Brandywine in the Lakeland Conference tournament.
Bridgman 0, Niles 0
B – Sammy Higgin 49:43
N – Chase Hullinger 62:21 (Cole Allison, Derrick Nzabakira)
B – Own Goal 73:16
Shots on Goal