Flivvers survive on penalty kicks
By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD – A much-improved Iron Mountain boys soccer team caught Kingsford a little off guard Tuesday evening at Commemorative Field.
Tying the game 2-2 with a little more than 12 minutes to play in regulation, the Mountaineers pushed the Flivvers into a double-overtime affair before falling in penalty kicks 4-3.
“I’m pleased with the kids whether they win or lose,” Mountaineers coach Rob Bogaudo said. “We’ve made some formation changes recently, and it’s working quite well.
“It took me a while as a coach to figure out what is going to work for us. And obviously now I found something that is going to work for us.”
Austin Stankevich delivered the game-winner during the penalty kicks, following Flivver makes from Austin Benjamin, Chris Bianco and Peter Person.
Holding their own with the Flivvers the whole way in a tense and physical battle, Iron Mountain recovered from a 2-0 first-half deficit to force the extra time.
Sam Carey put in the tying marker, getting a pass from Nathan Trepp about five yards in front of the net and deflecting it off his head to the right. The ball made a contact with a Kingsford defender and ricocheted back to the left, just catching and sticking inside of the front left post.
The Mountaineers’ first goal, also a header, was off of Trepp from Carey caught by Flivver netminder Josh Hanson behind the line with about 12 minutes to play before halftime.
“They were just in real close ,” Flivvers coach Alex Milinski said of the goals.
“Our guys just switched off at the wrong time. We can fix that but when it comes down to it in the game, that’s when you got to be spot on. We kind of lull ourselves into a comfortable sleep there and bad stuff comes from that.
“That being said, Iron Mountain came here with a game plan and they executed it. I thought they played very well.”
Austin Crosson, with an assist from Chris Roell, put the Flivvers on the board in the game’s 12th minute. Two minutes later the lead went to 2-0 thanks to a goal by Tom List, assisted by Brett Milinski.
Milinski said new Mountaineer formation wasn’t what they expected to see, but he thought more than that, it was the early 2-0 lead that may have gotten his squad a bit too relaxed.
“They looked to play long ball,” he said. “We just weren’t ready for it. We made some changes, got on the board right away, but then we just kind of got comfortable, and we completely shut down from there.
“We had chance after chance, hit the bar several times, had guys firing from six yards out. It’s just one of those reoccurring themes. We just have to finish when we are in front of the net.”
First-year player Jared Gauthier held of the Flivvers attack in net for Iron Mountain.
“The kid is so hard on himself,” Bogaudo said. “He works so hard at it, and he’s really good at it. He does a really good job.”
Josh Hanson worked the net for Kingsford, fighting off his fair share as well. Both teams were about equal in chances after halftime. The two five-minute overtimes expired without any prime scoring opportunities for either side.
Milinski went with Zac Stankevich in goal for the penalty kicks. After allowing the first one in, he watched two of the final three attempts sail high.
“The kids moved on,” Bogaudo said. “I said don’t anybody hang their head. It was a great game. We’re going to focus on Marquette Thursday. We want to send them back home with a loss.”
Iron Mountain went to 4-4 on the season. Kingsford, improving to 8-1-1, plays at Niagara Thursday.
“It’s disappointing (that we let the lead slip away),” Milinski said. “But the positive is we know what they going to do for next time, and we can adapt to that and finish our chances. In the end it turned out to be a great game. It’s a good win, but I hate to see it get that close. It’s a wake-up to our guys, and we know what we have to fix now.
“I’m sure Iron Mountain will give Marquette a game when they come here. It’ll be interesting to watch.”