MARQUETTE - When at first it didn't succeed, the Marquette Senior High School boys soccer team tried and tried again.
Despite making only a few small tweaks at halftime, the Redmen needed just two minutes of the second half to do more than they did in the entire 40-minute first half on Friday afternoon.
And it turned the smallest of halftime leads into a 6-0 rout of Lakeland Union of Minocqua, Wis., at the Kaufman Sports Complex.
"We mostly had the ball in their end of the field," said junior Cole Rieboldt, who scored the Redmen's lone first-half goal and another late goal.
"It was the same game plan in the second half, but we were trying to spread them out more."
Rieboldt scored the only goal his team would need just before the midpoint of the first half, stealing the ball from an LU defender right in front of Thunderbirds netminder Ryan Porter before slamming it home.
The Redmen and their head coach, Matt Tebo, spent the rest of the first half continually frustrated, but encouraged at the same time.
"We were creating a lot of chances, but I told the guys (at halftime) that they just needed to try different things," Tebo said. "There's basically four ways to score and we needed to mix it up instead of using the same play all the time.
"With all the chances we had, I said, 'Let's get three goals in the second half.' Somebody said, 'Why not five?' and I guess they knew what they were talking about."
Five was the correct second-half number, the first two coming as the second minute had elapsed.
Both were on quick rushes upfield, the first scored by senior Evan Kyle following up the initial shot by sophomore Max Bednarek and the second with sophomore Andrew Banitt taking a pass from Kyle.
Banitt made it 4-0 another 13 1/2 minutes later when he took a crossing pass from freshman Lehomm Pickard and spun 180 degrees, falling as he shot the ball into the far side of the net. The last two goals also came on similar spin-and-shoots by Rieboldt from junior Bryce Genovese for his second and sophomore Hunter Shaneberger from freshman Logan Zueger with 13:45 left.
Lakeland Union coach Rhonda Maulson says she has a young team this season.
"Our inexperience hurt us," she said. "We only have three starters back from last year and our defense is completely new.
"Marquette came at us right away (at the start of the second half) and our defender were out of position several times."
Meanwhile, the Redmen defense thwarted several good scoring chances by Lakeland Union, using superior speed and positioning to keep goalie Tony Lackey from facing any point-blank shots. MSHS finished with 24 shots, 14 of them on goal, while the Thunderbirds had nine shots, five of them saves by Lackey.
Marquette gets the weekend off before traveling to Iron Mountain for a game at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.