Nikodem, a senior midfielder, gave the struggling Chaminade soccer Red Devils just the boost they needed when he scored a goal off a free kick with 17:05 left in first half. The Red Devils added a late second half goal from Jack Simon and goalkeeper Marty Sheahan made that lead stand up as Chaminade snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 shutout win over Priory on Thursday at Chaminade College Prep.
Getting his first goal of the season was fun and relieving for Nikodem, who had been getting razzed by his teammates saying that he was due for some scoring.
“I was waiting on that for a long time,” Nikodem said. “I’m happy that it came now and now that it’s here I can hopefully put more in the net.”
Chaminade (1-4-1) had struggled with goal scoring through the first five games of the season and against a stout Priory club with a solid defense, things were more of the same. Thanks to steady defensive play from Flynn O’Dowd, Scott Ross, Adam Kuntz, and Vincent Laury, the Red Devils were able to focus better on finishing scoring chances.
“The four guys in the back played pretty well,” Chaminade coach Mike Gauvain said. “Defensively, they did good .”
When the Red Devils back line wasn’t clearing its zone of Rebels passes, Chaminade keeper Sheahan, making his first varsity start was money between the pipes.
Sheahan played confident, relaxed and showed few if any nerves in his varsity debut as he recorded a shutout. “I kind of just got in my zone and of course my defense helped, playing me nice balls down there,” Sheahan said. “First start, you got to be a little bit nervous, but the butterflies went away after the first few shots. ”
“He didn’t get too many shots but he had to handle a couple of crosses and he did that well,” Gauvain said. “Good for him, his first varsity game and he got a shutout.”
The Red Devils went up 1-0 on Nikodem’s goal at the 23:55 mark of the first half.
In the second half, Chaminade struck for its second goal at the 29:14 mark when Simon fired a shot past Rebels goalie Greg L’Hommedieu making it 2-0. O’Dowd set the score up with a nice cross pass in front of the goal.
“It’s been a real struggle to score but we created a bunch of chances today, ” Gauvain said. “Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.”
Priory (4-4) which lost a 3-2 nailbiter to Metro League rival MICDS on Tuesday had some chances but struggled to put shots away against a bigger, more physical Chaminade defense.
“It was a well played game, two even teams and I was proud of my guys,” Prior coach John Mohrmann said. “They played smart, confident, and played with skill. We created some chances and they have a really good goalie and really good center backs, so it was hard to get good chances.”
Chaminade will look for its second straight win on Saturday on Monday at 4:15 p.m. against Parkway West. Priory is back in action at Webster Groves on Saturday at 2 p.m.