Kingsford blanks Iron Mountain
By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD – Kingsford, in weather better suited for the Winter Olympics, blanked Iron Mountain 2-0 in high school girls soccer Thursday at Commemorative Field.
The Twin City rivals battled sleet, strong winds and temperatures in the mid-30s with little grumbling.
“The ski meet went well,” joked Mountaineer coach Jim Laydon.
Santina Bianco drilled goals in each half to account for the Flivver scoring.
“Under these conditions I thought we played really well,” Flivver coach Todd Formolo said. “We pretty much controlled the game.
“We need more opportunities to shoot but with these conditions I can’t ask for much more.”
Kingsford played on Iron Mountain’s side for most of the match, but other than the two goals, the Flivvers didn’t have many serious scoring threats.
In the first half, where the Flivvers had 16 looks at the net, Mountaineer goalie Hannah Hakamaki denied a serious challenge from Megan VanPembrook.
“It seemed like the girls on both teams had fun,” Laydon said. “It was physical but it was fair, and the refs did a great job.”
With 5:23 showing in the first half, passes from Sam Fleming and freshman Ingrid Martonen set up Bianco’s first goal.
Martonen and Emily Formolo assisted Bianco’s second goal with 9:03 of the second half.
“Jim’s girls put out a great effort and they’re a learning, building team,” Formolo said. “We have some players that really stepped up.”
The Flivver coach cited Bianco, Fleming and Formolo.
“Our defense was solid with two brand new defenders in Erika Ellis and Kelsey Bennett,” said Formolo, noting goalie Courtney Qualley didn’t see many shots.
The Mountaineers managed eight shots – four in each half. The Flivvers wound up with 29 attacks.
“I was impressed with our play,” Laydon said. “We’re a young team (with 13 sophomores and freshmen) and we came off a hard loss at Marquette.
“I thought we were pretty evenly matched. Our girls fought hard. We had opportunities and against Kingsford we don’t always have those.”
Laydon saluted senior defender Sarah Girard, a four-sport athlete in her first soccer season. The coach was also happy with Hakamaki in goal.
“Sarah was very impressive,” Laydon said. “I can move her around the field and it’s like she’s been with me all four years.
“Hannah was solid and she’s been like that all year.”
Iron Mountain, which takes an 0-4 record to Mosinee, Wis., on Saturday, didn’t mind the weather.
“Actually, it helped our team,” Laydon said. “We practiced outside in the ice and snow, and we plan for this.
“We’re building, we’re real young but we’re getting stronger every game.”
Kingsford, 1-1, starts a big homestand Monday with Three Lakes, Wis. Marquette visits Commemorative Field on Tuesday and the Mountaineers return Thursday.
“It was just a good opportunity for both teams to get out there,” Formolo said. “We played pretty respectable.”