Exchange student Gonzalez helps Vikings to victory

Published 11:21 am Sunday, September 22, 2013

Niles’ Adria Gonzalez, left, battles with Edwardsburg’s Zac Griffith for a ball during Saturday’s match. The Vikings defeated the Eddies 6-1. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Niles’ Adria Gonzalez, left, battles with Edwardsburg’s Zac Griffith for a ball during Saturday’s match. The Vikings defeated the Eddies 6-1. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Adria Gonzalez has become a valuable addition to the Niles boys soccer team.

The senior foreign exchange student from Barcelona, Spain scored twice on Saturday to lead the Vikings past Edwardsburg, 6-1.

Gonzalez has totaled six goals and three assists this season for Niles, which improved to 4-7. The Eddies fell to 5-7-1.

“Adria brings offense to the team, which is well needed,” said Niles coach Dave Jacobs. “We’re pretty solid everywhere else. He was a very welcomed guy to our team. He’s scored most of our goals this year. His job is to score goals the rest of the season. He knows it and he’s good at it.”

Gonzalez provided a spark early for Niles on Saturday. His goal from 10 yards with 36:28 left in the first half gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead. His second goal from 15 yards gave Niles the lead for good at 2-1 with 29:19 left in the first half. On that goal, the ball rolled slowly into the net as the Edwardsburg goalie was caught out of position.

“I wanted to come here in grade 11, but I wasn’t able to come until grade 12 and I’m very happy,” said Gonzalez. “I love the United States and know I’m lucky to be here. The people in Niles have treated me well and are very good people.”

What does Gonzalez like the most about the United States?

“I like the fast food,” he said. “You get more fast food to eat here.”

The two goals against Edwardsburg brightened Gonzalez’s mood.

“The last two games I didn’t feel like I played really good,” Gonzalez said. “But now I’m feeling better and happy how I played today.”

There was one tough moment during the match for Gonzalez when he was issued a yellow card with 6:15 left in the first half. Gonzalez was asked what happened to make the officials penalize him.

“I don’t know why,” Gonzalez said. “That’s the first one I’ve gotten. (The official) said I was so close to the ball (during a re-start). That’s the only bad thing that happened during the game.”

Edwardsburg coach Sean Jesse saw many bad things from his team against Niles. The lone bright spot for the Eddies was a goal from Nick Karamalegos on an assist from Ethan Brovold with 34:27 left in the first half. That goal tied the match at 1.

“We didn’t come to play,” said Jesse. “We didn’t really respond to the pressure that they gave us. We really didn’t have a good week of practice so I kind of had that feeling coming into today’s match.”

Also scoring for Niles were Kai VanAntwerp, Nicholas Suckles, Alex Jasper and Daulton Britton.

Niles finished with a 19-3 edge on shots on goal and a 12-1 edge on corner kicks.

“We’ve been taking some lickings lately, but we’ve been improving,” Jacobs said. “This is what we needed today. We gave that first goal away and then that was it. I don’t think our keeper touched the ball again.”




Halftime score

Niles 3, Edwardsburg 1


First half

N – Adria Gonzalez 36:28

E – Nick Karamalegos (Ethan Brovold) 34:27

N – Gonzalez 29:19

N – Kai VanAntwerp 8:38


Second half

N – Nicholas Suckle (penalty kick) 18:36

N – Alex Jasper 5:55

N – Daulton Britton 5:00


Shots on goal

Edwardsburg 3

Niles 19



Edwardsburg 8 (Ryan Mahaney)

Niles 0 (Luis Aguirre, Mika Farinella)


Corner kicks

Edwardsburg 1

Niles 12