MARQUETTE - Dan LeBert says his Marquette Senior High School girls soccer team needs to work on its defense, but you couldn't prove it by their effort Tuesday in the Superior Dome.
Behind a goal and an assist by Casey Durand, the Redettes opened their season with a 3-0 win over Kingsford, allowing just four shots goalkeeper Molly Goodreau needed to turn aside
"We have some work to do defensively, but I'm very pleased," LeBert said. "For the amount of time we've had (to practice) with any space at all, we spread the field well.
Marquette’s Shelby Ross and Kingsford’s Meredith Campbell battle for possession of the ball during the first half on Tuesday at the Superior Dome in Marquette. MSHS won the match 3-0. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"We started five sophomores and four freshmen, so we have a lot of talent, but a lot of inexperience. That's what I was most worried about.
"In the first half," he added, "we had a lot of scoring opportunities, but just didn't capitalize on them."
Makaela Burse forced three Kingsford saves and Denmark exchange student Sille Hendriksen forced another Flivvers stop for MSHS in a scoreless first half largely dominated territorially by the Redettes.
"We just had the feeling that once the first (shot) went it, the floodgates would open," LeBert said.
Burse notched that first goal for MSHS, converting a crossing pass from Durand for a goal 6:33 into the final 40 minutes of play.
"She (Durand) crossed it over. I saw the (scoring) opportunity and just put it in," Burse said. "I was looking for the top corner (of the net) so (the shot) would be harder to get and that's what I did.
"We did really well on our passing and communication today."
Said Kingsford coach Todd Formolo: "That was a nice play. We defended it well, but Makaela just put it in. I think our keeper did a fantastic job, though. She made some really nice saves.
"We played better in the first half than the second. (Marquette) caught us on our heels a little bit in the second half."
Kingsford had a penalty shot not long after Burse's goal, but the Flivvers' Samantha Fleming shot wide right of the net.
"That would have changed the game," Formolo said. "It was my mistake. She thought Santina (Bianco) was going to take the shot initially and Samantha just wasn't ready."
Said LeBert: "That (shot attempt) could have changed the game. When you get an opportunity like that, you have to capitalize."
MSHS put the game away with goals by Carleigh Hillier and Durand just 57 seconds apart late in the half.
Hillier converted a corner kick by Shelby Ross, then Durand made sure a shot by Madison Rieboldt that might have gone in on its own was a goal by tipping in the attempt.
"I told Casey at the half she let the ball get past her that could have been a goal when she thought it was already on its way in," MSHS assistant coach Matt Tebo said.
"I told her to make sure it's going to cross the (goal) line. She made sure."
MSHS kept up the offensive pressure in the final 9:36 of a contest originally scheduled for Kingsford but moved to the Dome due to inclement field and weather conditions.
"We're a young defense with one senior, but for the most part, we defended well," Formolo said. "Our midfield, where all our talent is, was a little bit weaker than I expected."
LeBert was just glad to get the game in, let alone win the contest.
"This was a real break. We thought we were going to have to cancel this game," he said.
"(Northern Michigan University Associate Director-Facilities) Carl Bammert, who actually coached me, told me the Dome was available today and asked if we wanted to use it.
"That was a no-brainer."
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.