KINGSFORD - Marquette, looking like the program that has dominated Upper Peninsula boys soccer, throttled host Kingsford 7-1 Tuesday at Commemorative Field.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected this score," said a "fairly happy" Marquette coach Matt Tebo. "That score doesn't mean anything against Kingsford.
"They're a very good team and we were on target today."
Kingsford’s Austin Person (7) and Marquette’s Billy Mullett (2) battle for the ball in Tuesday’s high school soccer match at Commemorative Field in Kingsford. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Theresa Peterson)
Sophomores Andrew Banitt and Hunter Shaneberger triggered the Redmen with two goals and one assist each.
"They're such a good program and set up so well," said Kingsford Coach Alex Milinski, noting the advantage of a junior varsity team. "We're young and we came up against a very tough team.
"Obviously, they were looking to settle everything on the field rather than go into PKs."
Marquette (5-2-3), which had two Commemorative Field matches in the past two seasons decided by penalty kick shootouts, smothered Kingsford defensively from the get-go.
The Redmen, with Banitt's slick footwork providing the first goal, built a 3-0 halftime cushion.
"We have to come out and play our game," said Tebo with his Redmen normally producing in the second half. "We had to come out strong and be in charge.
"If we let them dictate at their house, it's going to be a long night.
"My guys really responded well," he added. "The first couple of goals really deflate a team."
Marquette, with goalie Tony Lackey fielding four of the Flivvers' nine attacks in the match, sparkled defensively.
"They pressure so well," Milinski said. "Any time you play a loose ball in front of you, they're right there.
"They pretty much pigeon-holed us in our own half. Unfortunately, we couldn't get out of it."
Sophomore Max Bednarek followed Banitt's two opening goals in the first half.
The second half saw the Shaneberger markers, plus those of Marty Gray and Craig Eckstrum.
"We're lucky in that we have a few guys who we can rely on for goals," Tebo said. "(Banitt and Shaneberger) work really hard and they're going to fight for every ball. If they're open, they're going to shoot it."
Marquette took 37 shots at the Flivver net, with keeper Tyler Schaut knocking away 11.
Kingsford freshman Zach Stankevich blasted a free kick three minutes into the second half for the Flivvers' (3-4-2) goal.
It's good to play against teams like this," Milinski said. "All we can do now is take all the positives and take them to practice.
"We just have to make sure we learned from this. There's a couple more adjustments and tweaks we can make. We have to remember this going forward."