Division 2 soccer: Niles edges Lakeshore 1-0

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Niles’ Ben Florkowski (7) battles with a Lakeshore player during Division 2 District soccer tournament action Monday. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

Niles’ Ben Florkowski (7) battles with a Lakeshore player during Division 2 District soccer tournament action Monday. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

For the second time this season, the Niles soccer team defeated the Lakeshore Lancers in dramatic fashion.

This time, the Vikings edged the Lancers 1-0 in the opening round of the Division 2 Districet soccer tournament Monday.

Alex Jasper’s penalty kick goal in the 58th minute advanced Niles to the semifinals Thursday against Sturgis Thursday in Vicksburg.

Lakeshore came out on fire in the first five minutes of the game putting intense pressure on the Viking defense.

However, it didn’t take long for Niles to get settled into the game once junior Ben Florkowski was able to volley a 35-yard shot that just barely missed the crossbar in the eighth minute.

The Lancer pressure didn’t stop throughout the first half, as they won the first half corner kicks (5-1) and shot (7-2) totals.

None of those shots, though, found the back of the Viking net.

Junior goalkeeper Trey Scott made some incredible diving saves to keep the score tied in the first half, including a fingertip save as he was slipping in the box.

“This is actually his first year playing soccer,” Niles coach Dan Rodts said bout Scott. “He is an athletic kid and he took advantage of any opportunity tonight. He did the same thing that last time we played them (Lakeshore). He was actually injured for the past 3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

“We all have confidence in him and I think it is just his pure athleticism.  He also plays basketball so that allows him to the read the game well.  His confidence level is really high.”

Scott’s goalkeeping proficiency didn’t let up once the second half started. Another diving save off a Lancer header got the Viking fans going.

From then on the game had the makings of a district final written all over it.

In the 58th minute a cross from the right side found the head of Niles’ junior winger Ian Daly, who’s header was nearly saved by the Lancer goalkeeper.

Following the save a poor clearance by the Lakeshore defense found Niles freshman Bryant Echeverria with the ball at his feet. A quick step to the left and a foul in the box rewarded Niles with a crucial opportunity to get the go ahead goal.

Jasper then sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards out to put a dent in Lakeshore’s District title hopes.

“I didn’t see the call that was made,” Rodts said about the penalty kick. “I was paying more attention to our play on the cross before. I’m not the one to judge calls, and I emphasize that to my boys.  It set us up for a goal obviously, and we put it away.”

Five minutes later Lakeshore’s opportunity to tie the game was called off because of offsides.

The Lancer’s final push to get the equalizer in the last 15 minutes involved three yellow cards (2 for Niles, 1 for Lakeshore) and multiple attempts on goal, but was unsuccessful.

“We possessed the ball a lot better the first time we played them,” Rodts said about Niles’ 2-1 over the Lancers earlier this season. “Tonight Lakeshore dictated how the game was going to go versus the last time we played each other. They had one goal in mind and they did an excellent job of executing it.  We just played to our strengths and it worked out for us tonight.”



At Niles


Halftime Score

Lakeshore 0, Niles 0


Second Half

N – Alex Jasper 58th minute


Shots on Goal

Lakeshore 13

Niles 6



Lakeshore 5 (Cole Sing)

Niles 10 (Trey Scott)


Corner Kicks

Lakeshore 8

Niles 2

Varsity records: Lakeshore 12-8-1, Niles 9-8-3