Niles still trying to put together all the pieces

Published 6:26 am Thursday, September 9, 2021

NILES — As the Niles soccer team moves into Wolverine Conference play, Vikings’ Coach Abel Fonseca is still trying to put together the right pieces to a puzzle, that when finished, hopefully, will picture a successful season.

After being shut out by visiting Sturgis (2-0) Wednesday, Fonseca still does not have all the right pieces in place. Injuries have also forced the Vikings into moving players around, trying to get the right combination on the field.

“We are still earning,” Fonseca said. “We lost a lot of key players from last year that scored a lot of goals for us. We are still trying to find our groove with the ones that mesh together, who can click and run our offense. We had our opportunities tonight. We just didn’t finish them.”

After giving up an early goal on a defensive miscue, the Vikings settled down and kept the Trojans at bay for the remainder of the first half.

Niles continued to keep Sturgis from scoring for much of the second half while getting a few opportunities of its own that the Vikings were unable to turn into goals.

Eventually, another defensive breakdown late in the match allowed the Trojans to score their second goal and earn the victory.

“They caught us off-guard a couple of times and had some careless mistakes on defense,” Fonseca said. “With their speed, they broke us down. We are still learning in the back half and trying to work together. When you have a mistake like that, good teams take advantage of it and that is what they did.”

Niles has lost Daniel Becraft for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while on Wednesday, it was also missing two more defenders. That did not help the Vikings against Sturgis’ aggressive offense.


Edwardsburg at Allegan

Visiting Edwardsburg had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Allegan in Wolverine Conference action Wednesday.

The Eddies (2-3-2, 0-0-1 Wolverine) led 1-0 after a goal by Tye Vargo off the assist from Owen Kertes.

The Tigers were able to take a 2-1 lead in the second half, but Vargo scored again, this time with the assist from Devyn Arias, to force the tie.