KINGSFORD - Interpreting the ending of Thursday evening's double-overtime, shootout soccer match between Iron Mountain and Kingsford will most likely depend on which side of Woodward you reside.
With neither team unable to break a 1-1 tie in two five-minute overtime sessions, Kingsford topped Iron Mountain 6-5 in a controversial penalty kick shootout Thursday evening before a large crowd at Commemorative Field.
"A weird turn of events," commented Kingsford head coach Alex Milinski, offering probably the most accurate description of how the shootout unfolded.
Kingsford’s Tyler Metras and Iron Mountain’s Nathan Trepp battle for control of the ball during the first half Thursday evening at Commemorative Field. Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
The shootout was tied 4-4 heading into a sixth round. Kingsford, kicking first, sent up Tyler Metras for its next try. He wound up getting two attempts after his first - which kicked high off the crossbar - was ruled a no kick.
Metras, upon approaching his first penalty kick, made a stutter-step move before putting foot to ball. After the miss, the referees huddled and even pulled out a rule book before determining that the instant the stutter-step occurred, the play was considered dead and, by rule, a re-try was to ensue.
Metras buried his second chance.
Iron Mountain's Lance Armstrong followed by connecting on his try. Had Metras' miss stood, the game would have ended with Armstrong kicking the winner.
Instead, the shootout went another round where Kingsford's Alek Haag put one through followed by Flivver goalie Tyler Schaut making a diving two-handed save of Iron Mountain's final attempt, giving the win to the Maize and Blue.
"They played a good game," Mountaineer coach Rob Bogaudo said of Kingsford while respectfully disagreeing with the ruling in the shootout. "That's what it boils down to. Kingsford did a real good job in defending their goal. We both played similar games, both defended really hard. It came down to kicks, and I still have to do a little research on what happened there. I just go with what the refs tell me."
Iron Mountain, no doubt still a little weary after going to a double overtime shootout against Marquette Tuesday, led the contest 1-0 at halftime thanks to a 35-yard blast by Nick Brule with less than 10 minutes to play in the half.
Brule, running along the left sideline, took a pass rom Nathan Trepp around midfield, made a few long strides in and toward the middle of the field before unleashing a rocket into the far right corner of the net.
"Obviously we know Iron Mountain is a dangerous team," Milinski said. "We got the advantage of scouting them against Marquette. That played to our favor. We knew what they were going to do coming out. We knew the guys we had to shut down.
"But you saw in the first half how lethal Brule is. The first time he even touched the ball and got a look on net, he put it in. We knew he was going to do it, but he's such a good player, it's unstoppable. There's no way to save anything like that and there's really no way to mark anything like that with his speed."
Kingsford evened the score about midway through the second half when Brett Milinski set up Austin Crosson in close for the equalizer.
"We played well," Milinski said. "We gave them the first half on that mistake, but all I told them at half was we have to go out and win the second half, and that's what we did."
Shot totals were low and about even in the game, with defense the primary focus of both clubs.
"Those guys played a tough game against Marquette," Milinski said of the Mountaineers. "I did not expect them to come out and be the same team tonight. That being said, we came out and completely dominated the passing and we tried to keep on the floor and work the ball as much as we could.
"We don't get flustered. We just keep playing the way we were taught to play and that eventually paid off and got us into the spot where we could win the game."
Iron Mountain goalie Max Frorenza made the first save in the shootout, stopping Kingsford's third attempt with a two-handed block to his left. But Schaut answered by stopping Iron Mountain's next shot, reaching above his head to push away the kick.
"Schaut was very upset about the (Brule first-half) goal," Milinski said. "But that would have been hard for even a professional keeper to save. He kept going, got over it quickly and was huge in the penalty shootout."
Making penalty kicks for the Flivvers in the shoot were Geno Bianco, Milinski, Zach Stankevich, Crosson and Haag. Iron Mountain received successful attempts from Brule, Frorenza, David Bogaudo, Sam Carey and Armstrong.
Iron Mountain and Kingsford meet again Monday, Oct. 8.
"We'll have to see," Bogaudo said. "We'll have another game and see what we can do against them."
Kingsford (3-1-2) plays at Northland Pines Saturday. The Mountaineers (4-2-1) head to the Wausau Invite.