By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - Kingsford jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, shuffled its lineup a bit, and held off Peshtigo 5-2 in varsity soccer Thursday at Commemorative Field in the Flivvers 2013 home opener.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Chris Roell battles Peshtigo’s Khalid El-Jack during Thursday’s soccer game at Commemorative Field. Roell notched two assists in the Flivvers’ 5-2 win.
"I thought it went well," Kingsford coach Alex Milinski said. "We went up early, so we made some changes. And a lot of guys got a lot of quality minutes."
The Flivvers scored three times within the game's first 15 minutes. Austin Crosson started things with a breakaway tally at 32:30, getting an assist from Chris Roell. Collin Hirthe put in a header goal at 29:56, with help from Crosson, and John Fayas found the net from six yards away, taking an assist from Brett Milinski at 27:16.
Following the third tally, Milinski began his lineup shuffling, removing his whole midfield.
"It was a good experience," Milinski said. "It's good to get those guys in there that don't always see the field."
A breakaway goal by Milinski, assisted by Roell, made it 4-0 Flivvers heading into the half.
Peshtigo managed two goals after the break, both coming following calls against Kingsford. The first whistle against the Flivvers gave the Bulldogs a free kick just outside the 18. The free attempt was tapped over to an unattended Austin Noffke, who buried his chance at 35:32.
Kingsford responded a few minutes later, as Hirthe took a pass from Crosson near the center of the field on the 18 and deposited it into the right corner.
A whistle for a hand ball in the box on a play in which Flivver goalie Josh Hanson took a cleat to the knee, gave Peshtigo a penalty shot at 17:06. Hanson, attended to on the field by a trainer, left the game with assistance, and Kris Vansickle buried the free shot past Forrest Nelson, who has all of about a minute to prep for the net.
Milinski said Hanson should be OK by Saturday when the Flivvers travel to Eagle River, Wis.
"Our real only disappointment in this game was to give up the goals the way we did," he said. "It was just a bit of sloppy play. It's almost like you get comfortable and once you get comfortable, that's when something weird happens.
"But Peshtigo is a fine team. They are organized defensively and held on a lot."
Kingsford registered 16 shots to Peshtigo's four, the Flivvers coming very close to adding more on several chances.
The Flivvers, improving to 4-1, play Northland Pines and Three Lakes Saturday.
"Northland Pines should be a pretty good game," Milinski said.
"We look like we're moving the ball pretty well, keeping it on the ground like we want to. The rest will come. It's still early in the season. We're just building on what we have, and we're looking good."
NOTES: Thursday's game was played on a somber note with recent passing of Paul Masnjak, a member of the officiating crew. Kingsford coach Alex Milinski said the thoughts and prayers of his team were with the crew, friends and family of Paul.