Flivvs handle young Mountaineers
By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD – Considering the disruptive start to the high school girls soccer season, Kingsford was satisfied Thursday with the results from a 3-0 shutout over Iron Mountain at Commemorative Field.
“We played a half-way decent game for being outside just a couple times,” said Flivver coach Todd Formolo, referring to the wintry spring that has wreaked havoc with the schedule. “Iron Mountain is an up-and-coming team.
“They’re young. They don’t have the number of players we have and we played a little bit more organized.”
Senior co-captain Megan VanPembrook scored early unassisted goals in each half to lift the Flivvers. Both came within the first five minutes.
That was the extent of Kingsford’s offense until Courtney Qualley emerged from a scrum in front of the goal to score with 23 seconds left in the match.
“They’re learning how to play defense,” said Coach Jeff Porier, whose Mountaineers managed one shot over 80 minutes. “You really can’t play offense until you play defense.”
Mountaineer goalie Hannah Hakamaki turned away 11 challenges in the second half.
“We had a lot of opportunities so we’re just not striking the ball very well,” Formolo said. “It’s been our problem all along.
“We’ve been working on our kicks. They’re a little weak when we’re inside the ’18.'”
Kingsford’s goalie depth was on display. Qualley played the first half in net and moved to the field for the second. Freshman Abby Person took over net-minding for the final 40 minutes.
Are the Flivvers better with Qualley in goal or on the field? The junior provided a second-half energy boost.
“Having a good back-up goalie is going to help us,” Formolo said. “If we’re in a shootout, I want Qualley on the field.
“Qualley is a great goalie and she’s also a leader on the field. It helps us a whole lot.”
In the closing seconds, a cross from Santina Bianco in front of the net set up Qualley’s goal.
Kingsford stood out in the other facets.
“The defense played great,” Formolo said. “Our stopper Emily (Formolo) played excellent. That’s important for us.
“Our overall passing and possession was really good. Our control was good.”
The Flivvers’ entire 20-plus player roster also got on the soggy field.
“I was able to evaluate everybody,” Formolo said. “Everybody was able to play. So it made a big difference for us there.
“But we have a lot of work to do.”
Iron Mountain (0-2-1) visits Shawano, Wis., tonight.
“They’re working at it,” Porier said. “We have a lot of young players and some seniors that are first-year players.
“They’re coming along. You see how hard they work.”
Porier said senior Mandy Haferkorn is out for the season with mono.
Kingsford (2-1) hosts Marquette Wednesday.
The Flivvers, with a goal from freshman Brianna Robinson, downed Lakeland 1-0 last week. Ingrid Martonen assisted on the play.
“They’re an OK team,” Porier said of the Flivvers. “They’ll win some games. They have a lot of kids.”