Czirr sees improvement in loss

The Niles soccer team was blanked by visiting Sturgis 5-0 in a non-conference match Friday. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

The Niles soccer team was blanked by visiting Sturgis 5-0 in a non-conference match Friday. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

Niles first-year girl soccer coach Katie Czirr saw some good things from her team in the second half Friday in a 5-0 loss to Sturgis.

The Vikings outshot the Trojans, 7-6, over the final 40 minutes.

Sturgis made the most out of its limited scoring opportunites and scored all three of its second half goals over the final 16:10.

“I was very encouraged by how our team played in the second half,” said Czirr. “We had good pressure and had nice formations with our runs using the width of our field using support and center. We had some great attacks on goals. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough.”

Sturgis outplayed Niles in the first half, finishing with a 12-2 advantage on shots.

Morgan Pueschel’s goal off a corner kick from Kayla Thornton gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with 25:27 left in the first half. That advantage grew to 2-0 after Maddi Allen’s scored on a 20-yard kick with 9:25 left in the first half.

“What hurt us the most were the quick transitions on free kicks,” Czirr said. “We have to be able to roll back as soon as their is a free kick and keep going with it and not question what’s going on.”

A bright spot individual for the Vikings was goalie Avyion James, who had seven of her nine saves in the first half.

“Avy had a really good game,” Czirr said. “Two of the goals that were hit were on the upper righthand 90 coming more than a 180 degree. Those were really good goals and she read them really well.”

Sturgis got goals in the second half from Cassie Herman, Pueschel and Thornton, who delivered on a penalty kick with 1:29 left in the game.

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