IRON MOUNTAIN - You've got to hand it to Iron Mountain varsity soccer head coach Rob Bogaudo.
And I'm not talking about how well he handled a controversial finish in Thursday night's double-overtime, shootout soccer loss to Kingsford.
You see, in high school soccer, the coaches decide before a game whether there will be overtime and/or a shootout to determine a winner and a loser.
Teams do have the option to let a tie be a tie.
In big games, that's not an option for Bogaudo. He believes there's a greater long-term benefit to playing until there is a winner and a loser.
"I'm never going to let a game end in tie," he said after Thursday's loss. "I want kids to have either that emotional win or that emotional loss. They need to experience both sides of that."
Three times during the past two seasons in meaningful match-ups, Bogaudo's team has been involved in a double-overtime shootout, sporting a 1-2 record after Thursday's result against Kingsford.
Last year, Iron Mountain lost to Marquette in a shootout. A heartbreaker.
On Tuesday, the Mountaineers made it to the other side, taking a shootout against the Redmen to claim the biggest 'W' in program history.
How did that one feel?
"It's an awesome feeling," senior Nick Brule told sports writer Burt Angeli after Tuesday's game. "We lost to them in PKs last year, so it's really great to get them back this year."
When I visited Iron Mountain's preseason practice in early August, there was talk about that loss to Marquette in 2011, how close they came, how much it's motivated them, and how amazing it would be to turn the tables on them.
Would a tie have produced the same hunger and drive?
And in 20 years from now, Brule and his teammates will absolutely remember the late summer afternoon when they first beat Marquette. The moment was without a doubt made sweeter by the fact that they had to experience being on the losing side first.
How memorable would a tie of been?
Thanks to Coach Bogaudo, the young men on the Iron Mountain soccer team won't know. Instead they will forever be able to savor the feeling of a hard-fought and well-deserved victory.