Edwardsburg opens with 3-1 win over Niles
The beginning of the spring sports season is always dependent on how Mother Nature wants to act.
Some teams get lucky and are able to get some games in before spring break. Others struggle to get any games under their belt.
Such was the case between the Edwardsburg and Niles soccer teams Tuesday afternoon.
The Vikings were able to get three matches in before spring break against Dowagiac, Bridgman and Kalamazoo Central.
Edwardsburg, on the other hand, was not as lucky. Postponed games against Cassopolis and Coloma led to the Eddies having their first match of the season nearly one full month after the season officially started.
Nonetheless both teams were ready to get back into the action Tuesday night.
A strong first half from Edwardsburg put the Eddies up 3-0 at halftime on goals from seniors Noelle Kraus and Joelly Baldwin, and the other from freshman Ashlee Low. Consistent through balls broke down the Viking defense, forcing junior Viking goalkeeper Avy James to make most of her 13 saves in the opening 40 minutes.
Niles, struggling to put anything in the back of the net, had second-year coach Katie Czirr make some halftime adjustments.
“We were slow off the start,” Czirr said. “In the first half we had some good possession and key plays, we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.”
The adjustments worked. Niles had more possession of the ball in the second half and even found the bottom left corner on a Dayleigh Miller tap in, her third goal of the season.
The Eddies, who have now beaten the Vikings in three three straight matches dating back to last year, will be looking to youth to help lead the team this season with players like goal scorer Low and midfielder Makenna Fonseca.
“Our freshmen logged a lot of minutes,” said Edwardsburg Coach Brett Herring. “Getting used to playing with each other is huge for us right now. Some of them in the second half calmed down and getting into the familiarity with this being their first high school game. All in all though I was happy with the effort.”
The Eddies will host Coloma today in a makeup match from Monday.
The Vikings traveled to Three Rivers Wednesday before hosting SMAC foe Mattawan on Friday.
EDWARDSBURG 3, NILES 1
Edwardsburg 3, Niles 0
E – Noelle Kraus 12 minute (Joelly Baldwin assist).
E – Grace Gilmore 30th minute (Baldwin assist).
E – Ashlee Low 38th minute (Kraus assist).
N – Dayleigh Miller 77th minute.
Edwardsburg 4 (Hailee Hebard)
Niles 13 (Avy James)
Varsity records: Edwardsburg 1-0, Niles 1-2-1.