Eddies roll past Vikings 5-1Published 9:58pm Monday, September 17, 2012
EDWARDSBURG —Edwardsburg’s soccer team parlayed a stifling defensive effort into high-octane offensive performance Saturday afternoon against visiting Niles.
The Eddies yielded just three shots on goal and senior Alan Lopez scored a pair of goals in a 5-1, non-conference victory.
“The defense is a big part of our team,” Lopez said. “Without that, we aren’t able to push forward. They might have been a little faster, but as long as we are able to keep on our mark, we’re all able to push forward and get the ball to our forwards.”
Edwardsburg opened the scoring during the fourth minute on a goal by diminutive freshman Tyler Treat. On the play, Treat hustled to a loose ball just to the right of Niles goalkeeper Ryan Casey and slipped it into the net.
Treat’s goal set the tone for a game that saw the Eddies outhustle the Vikings for a majority of the 90 minutes.
Lopez netted his first goal during the 38th minute, after outworking a Niles defender and sophomore Nick Karamlegos scored on a similar play during the 49th minute to stake the Eddies to a 3-0 lead.
“We finished better today than we have all season,” Edwardsburg head coach Sean Jesse said. “We were opportunistic. We play out of the back, we try to defend out of the back and we just did a much better job in the midfield, getting the ball forward and attacking from there.”
Edwardsburg made it a 4-0 during the 50th minute when junior Ethan Brovold slid a pass across the crease to an umarked Lopez.
Niles scored its lone goal on a penalty kick by senior Graham Hoppstock in the 57th minute, before junior Jared Kalka headed in a shot following a free kick by Treat near the end of the 79th minute.
Jesse was impressed by the Eddies’ effort against Niles.
“I have 11 seniors,” he said. “It’s a very old team in that sense, with a lot of experience, but we have been growing. We took our lumps early in the season and still have a tough schedule, but we keep improving.”
Added Lopez, “The intensity has not been as great as we wanted it to be, but we went out there, played our hardest and it paid off.”
First-year Niles head coach Dave Jacob credited Edwardsburg, but questioned the effort by the Vikings.
“Their team showed up and played, and we didn’t.” he said. “I’m embarrassed for our guys, actually.
“We had a great week of practice and we had some really good touches going, and then we showed up today and looked like we hadn’t ever played together. I really don’t have an explanation for it. It was pitiful.”
Edwardsburg 2, Niles 0
E – Tyler Treat 4th minute
E – Alan Lopez 38th minute
E – Nick Karamalegos 49th minute
E – Lopez 50th minute
N – Graham Hoppstock 57th minute
E – Jared Kalka 69th minute
Shots on goal