Soccer: Flivvers fall to Three Lakes

Kingsford’s Kobe Gordon, left, puts a shot on goal as Three Lakes’ Derek Philyaw defends on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at Commemorative Field in Kingsford, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

KINGSFORD — A halftime adjustment kept Kingsford’s offense off of Three Lakes’ back in the Bluejays’ 4-2 win on Thursday.

The Flivvers (2-4) found two goals from Ben Backlund in the first half but were shut out in the second half after Three Lakes moved a player from the midfield to the defensive row.

The move essentially put a player in the spaces Backlund exploited in the first half. As a result, through balls to Backlund were diverted away from the middle of the field. Many of Kingsford’s chances in the second half came on weak off-balance kicks.

“Instead of having four midfielders playing in a line, I took one back and played him behind,” Three Lakes head coach Abel Bean said. “That did two things: one, it gave more space for our players and two, it benefited the one player I put behind to his abilities.”

Kingsford took the lead in the first half on Backlund’s header from a corner kick by Kobe Gordon. The corner came when Backlund deflected a pass and a defender kicked the ball out of bounds for a corner kick.

About 10 minutes later, Backlund forced a turnover, passed back to Gordon, who then found Backlund through three defenders on a pass and Backlund got off a kick as he fell away. The goal found the back of the net and sent Three Lakes reeling.

Then the Bluejays (5-1-1) found a foothold with the leg of Andrew Gill. Gill got a goal back off a Kingsford turnover.

Three Lakes took advantage of more Kingsford miscues as Tony Gutierrez forced a turnover and scored the tying goal.

Gill scored again about 10 minutes into the second half. Three minutes later, Carlos Gutierrez added the Bluejays’ fourth goal.

“We played a very good first half. We started off with our corner kick,” Kingsford head coach Jeff Gordon said. “Ben hit it in off Kobe’s corner kick. We had momentum. We played very well at first half. Mids played well. Second half we just didn’t control the ball.”

The Bluejays also moved speedy defender Wangai Karianjahi from the outside to the inside in the second half, another adjustment to help shut down Backlund.

“He just has a lot of speed and a lot of ability,” Bean said. “The other guy’s (Ethan Snyder) quite capable, but he’s injured right now. It was a tough game. I was able to get him out for long stretches of the game.”

Gordon said his young team’s passing isn’t on point yet.

“In our practices we’re doing a little extra certain pass drills. Their aim’s not on yet,” Gordon said. “They’re coming close but it’s just not there yet. When that gets on, we’ll have it. We just haven’t clicked yet. We click for half a game, but just not a full game yet.”

Bean said it looked like the Flivvers got tired through the second half.

“I think they got a little tired in the second half,” Gordon said. “They weren’t as crisp with the ball, they weren’t talking as much as they were. They really came out strong.”

Three Lakes 2 2 — 4

Kingsford 2 0 — 2

First Half

K — Backlund (Gordon)

K — Backlund (Gordon)

TL — Gill

TL — T. Gutierrez

Second Half

TL — Gill

TL — C. Gutierrez