Flivvers take control
By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD – Kingsford, playing at a high level of soccer, spilled rival Iron Mountain 4-1 Monday at Commemorative Field.
The Flivvers, after allowing the first goal, stormed back with two goals in each half.
“I thought we did really well,” said Coach Alex Milinski, whose Flivvers needed an overtime shootout to beat Iron Mountain in September. “They did what we should have done the first game. It was just our night. We played like we should be all season.”
Sawyer Kujula, with an assist from Sam Carey, launched a long kick six minutes into the match for the Mountaineer goal.
“Unfortunately, when we were down 1-0, that was their only shot of the half,” Milinski said. “It was just a well taken shot from outside and found its way into the back of the net.
“Kudos to my guys for staying strong and fighting back. From that point on we completely dominated.”
Kingsford applied pressure and Mountaineer goalie Jared Gauthier made three highlight reel stops before the Flivvs took over.
“We got a lot of chances we didn’t finish,” Milinski said. “But the ones we did were pretty spectacular.”
With 17 minutes showing in the first half, Brett Milinski tallied the first Flivver goal. Freshman John Fayas put Kingsford ahead 2-1 at halftime. Austin Crosson assisted on the first score and Geno Bianco on the other.
“I thought the boys played well,” Mountaineer coach Rob Bogaudo said. “We had a few breakdowns in defense that cost us goals.”
Collin Hirthe hiked the difference to 3-1 at 37:58 of the second half. Taylor Wickman assisted on the goal.
Austin Person’s unassisted goal with 14:52 closed out the scoring.
“There’s a lot of good soccer players on that Kingsford team,” Bogaudo noted.
Iron Mountain kept firing in the second half with Flivver goalie Josh Hanson handling four. Kingsford registered 25 attacks and Iron Mountain had 15 in the match.
And it wouldn’t be an Iron Mountain-Kingsford game without a bit of drama. The referee huddled both teams seven minutes into the second half to apparently warn about rough play.
“The kids feed off the crowd and vice versa,” Milinski said. “This one’s always a bit chippy and we’re fine with that.”
Bogaudo didn’t see any hard feelings in the high school boys soccer match.
“Both teams are aggressive,” Bogaudo said. “Both play together all summer long. They’re all friends.”
Kingsford (13-1-3) completes the regular season Thursday at Big Bay de Noc. Iron Mountain is looking forward to the U.P. Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Marquette.
Kingsford, Marquette and Escanaba comprise one pool. Iron Mountain, Ironwood and Sault St. Marie comprise the other. That means the Flivvers and Mountaineers could meet again.
“The U.P finals should be interesting,” Bogaudo said. “We may see them (IM) again which would be good.
“I prefer to play teams that are good or better than us. It challenges the boys. I like to see them work hard. I have no complaints tonight.”
Kingsford 2 2 – 4
Iron Mountain 1 0 – 3
IM – Sawyer Kujula (Sam Carey), 34:15.
K – Brett Milinski (Austin Crosson), 17:03.
K – John Fayas (Geno Bianco), 2:03.
K – Collin Hirthe (Taylor Wickman), 37:58.
K – Austin Person, 14:52.