Mountaineers tough in first soccer match

LUXEMBURG, Wis. – Iron Mountain’s girls finally opened the 2013 spring soccer season, falling 1-0 to Luxemburg-Casco.

A scoreless game until the 52nd minute, Luxemburg’s Kendra Harding hit a 35-yard shot into the wind that sailed just over the reach of Iron Mountain keeper Hannah Hakamaki into the top right corner.

The game marked the Mountaineers’ first time on grass this spring. The team took to practicing at snow-covered Mountaineers Stadium last week after staging indoor practices for several weeks.

“It was an exciting game to watch with the Mountaineers staying right with a team that’s been very tough every season,” IM coach Jim Laydon said.

Laydon said the Mountaineers had their opportunities, led by the physical play of midfielder Kristen Gendron.

“We had several chances that skimmed just wide or just over the goal,” he said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the net. This game truly could have gone either way. I am very proud of the effort our girls put out tonight.”

An end of the game surge that found nearly every Mountaineer inside Luxemburg’s 18-yard box nearly evened the score, but Iron Mountain couldn’t capitalize on the effort.

“This team is very aggressive and attack oriented,” Laydon said. “The goals will start to come with time. Tonight was a great team effort. We have many young players and they are all willing to step up and play where needed.”

Laydon commended the play of his defense.

“The defense kept us in this game, with excellent play coming from Kari Sanford, Ashley Berger, Malia Brooks, Mandy Haferkorn, and Sarah Girard,” he said. “The girls played well tonight. They worked hard until the final whistle and as a coach, you can’t ask for much more.”

Hakamaki finished with six saves.

Mountaineers (0-1) may head to Green Bay Wednesday or Thursday to face Green Bay West. Friday’s game against Marinette has been moved to Marinette.