Cold day, warm feeling: Marquette boys soccer team mercy rules Iron Mountain, 9-1
“That’s kind of been the theme all year, it’s just a new guy stepping up every game making big plays.” — Dan Salmon, head coach, Marquette boys soccer
MARQUETTE — The weather wasn’t ideal for a sporting event late Thursday afternoon with heavy rain earlier in the day combined with falling temperatures and an increasing wind.
However, the Marquette Senior High School boys soccer team shrugged off the conditions and rolled to a 9-1 mercy-rule win over Iron Mountain at the Kaufman Sports Complex.
Redmen sophomore Nick Asmus finished with four goals.
“We had this game circled on the calendar because we tied them earlier in the year and we just wanted to get back to this game and see what we could do, because we thought we left a lot on the field when we went to Iron Mountain last time,” Redmen head coach Dan Salmon said. “So we knew we could do better on the scoreboard.”
For the Mountaineers, it was a tough day on the pitch. Not just by the final score, but the fact that they rolled into town with a depleted roster, down more than half a dozen players.
Despite that, head coach Joe Pacheco was happy with how his team fought through adversity.
“We’re down seven players, so we were lucky in the first half to hold what we were holding,” he said. “It was going to be a matter of a good team learning where our holes were today. We put seven new positions out today, including our keeper, with expectations of a more balanced game. My expectation was that it would be different, but we look at every opportunity to learn.
“So to get seven new players at seven new positions today, that’s seven players that are learning something for tomorrow and that will help us be stronger for the future, but not for today. So we’re building for the future.”
Asmus got the Redmen on the scoreboard first on a shot to the lower left side of the goal before padding the lead to 2-0 on an impressive individual effort. He received a long pass in the IM defensive zone and veered around the Mountaineers goalie, who charged out to cut him off to kick the ball into the back of the net.
“Nick had the best game of his season right now and he’s just the next guy stepping up,” Salmon said. “That’s the thing that’s kind of been the theme all year, it’s just a new guy stepping up every game making big plays.”
The Mountaineers answered back shortly after that when senior Tyler Bengtson scored on a penalty kick, but Marquette wasn’t deterred.
Toward the end of the first half, the Redmen got the ball back into the IM zone and got a good bounce. Camden Larson sent a shot on net that went off the bar and then was tipped in the air by a Mountaineer defenseman. However, MSHS’ Connor Johnson was right there to knock the ball into the net on a header to get his team’s lead back to two goals at 3-1 at halftime.
The second half was almost all Marquette. Asmus found an opening in the IM defense and picked up his third goal on a shot to the left post to make it 4-1. The Mountaineers had a chance to cut into the Redmen’s lead a couple minutes later thanks to a defensive mishap with two defenders and the goalie clumped together in one spot. However, IM’s shot went just wide and Marquette kept rolling.
The Redmen then scored on a long shot to put go up 5-1, followed by Asmus getting his fourth tally to push the advantage to five.
Marquette then put the game away on a bad break for the Mountaineers. A Redmen corner kick was blocked by the IM defense while the rebound was also blocked, but a second rebound attempt went off two Mountaineers and past the goalie.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal. net.