By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - The possibility exists that Kingsford and Iron Mountain could meet in a U.P. soccer final Saturday in Marquette.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Iron Mountain goalie Max Frorenza leaps to deflect the ball in Monday’s match with Kingsford at Commemorative Field.
What a game that would make.
The Mountaineers and Flivvers, meeting in well-played regular season finale Monday evening at Commemorative Field, took a 1-1 tie into the final minutes before Iron Mountain prevailed 3-1.
"What a great game by both teams," Mountaineers coach Rob Bogaudo said.
Lance Armstrong knocked in a rebound of a Sawyer Kujala shot to break the tie with 6:28 to play in regulation. Nick Brule added the insurance marker with 1:14 to go by taking a cross from the left side from Nathan Trepp and blasting a hard grounder from about 20-yards away.
"We played well," Flivvers coach Alex Milinski said. "We did what we were supposed to, and we had a gameplan. We played very well. We were very unlucky with some of our chances."
"In the first half, we had countless times where we could have put the game away. Iron Mountain just kept hanging around."
Zach Stankevich, with an assist from Geno Bianco, put the Flivvers on the board in the first half. The Mountaineers first goal came from Brule, who finished a play from Kujala to Conor Larson.
The Flivvers couldn't mount as many chances in the second half as they did in the first.
"We got tired committing so hard," Milinski said. "Credit Iron Mountain too. They knew that."
"It's great having a rivalry like this. It's competitive."
Iron Mountain (10-4-3), a favorite from the start of the season, will open the U.P. tournament in a bracket that does not include Marquette. The Mountaineers group consists of Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette's second team.
"We are looking forward to the U.P. finals," Bogaudo said. "This is the first year we do not have Marquette's varsity in our bracket."
Kingsford (10-7-2), meanwhile, will start off against Marquette in Group B, which also includes Ironwood. But the Flivvers, much improved from the season's start, wouldn't have it any other way.
"We got Marquette right away and that's the game we want to play in," Milinski said. "We don't want to go there and play teams and blow them out. We want to play the best competition we can."
Milinski admitted he is a little surprised about how well his team has improved this season.
"But at the same time, I am very confident in my players and I think they 're confident as well, and I think we carry that very well as a team," he said.
"We're well ahead where I thought we were going to be, which is awesome. That's a credit to all my players. They've just been playing at another level all year."
Saturday's tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. (Central), with the winners of each group meeting at 4:30 for the U.P. championship.
"The goal I set for the kids is very simple," Bogaudo said. "Give me your best game every game and win or lose I'm still proud to be your coach."