Soccer: IM holds off Marinette 2-1

Marinette defender Hunter Luitze (15) deflects the ball against Iron Mountain’s Eamonn Weed (10) on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, at Commemorative Field in Kingsford, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

KINGSFORD — Iron Mountain’s offense awoke to hold off Marinette 2-1 on Tuesday at Commemorative Field.

The Mountaineers (2-5) were helped by a first-half goal from Ryan Hakamaki and the game-winner by Dylan Wolsker, his first career goal.

Prime scoring opportunities for Iron Mountain came during a match of focused ball control around midfield into the final third of the field and especially inside the 18. Each goal came from a scramble in which the ball bounced to the feet of Hakamaki and Wolsker.

“We possessed the ball really well. The kids were passing and moving well,” Iron Mountain head coach David Brule said. “We got more attacking chances than we’ve been seeing in the previous six games. That’s been some real improvement — we’ve been working on it in practice. It’s great to see Dylan Wolsker get the first goal of his career. Really nice shot by Ryan Hakamaki to get the other goal.”

Hakamaki’s goal came about three minutes before the half while Wolsker’s goal came less than 10 minutes into the second half.

Most of the second half was played in Marinette’s half of the field.

Marinette added a goal by Noah Cegelski with two minutes left, adding urgency to the game’s finish. Iron Mountain had pulled starters throughout the second half to share the work and keep starters from getting too fatigued as the Mountaineers face Marquette today.

“The last one that they got back, we were trying to clear the bench and make sure everybody got some time,” Brule said. “They made a nice through ball. Unfortunately it got by two of our guys and he made a nice move on the goalie and shot.”

Iron Mountain had multiple scoring opportunities in the scoring half like multiple opportunities from David Brule III that skirted just wide of either post, or another Hakamaki shot in the second half that barely missed the crossbar.

“The whole point of soccer is getting the ball into the danger zone,” Coach Brule said. “You work really hard to get the ball where you can score. It’s not always going to be a beautiful shot from the outside. It’s a good bounce and a guy in the right position. You work hard to get guys in the right position. When it happens, it’s good. That’s what we work for. We did dominate possession in the middle third of the field and did well in the attacking third.”

Brule said the attacking mindset can lead to defensive lulls as happened when Cegelski speared through the defensive line and faked the goalie for a wide open net.

“They got a couple through balls. It’s tough to maintain that attacking mindset,” Brule said. “They kick the ball over the D and it’s a big rush. It’s a dangerous tempo to be attacking because the counter can hurt you.”

The Mountaineers host Marquette at 6 p.m. today at Commemorative Field. The start time was changed from 5 p.m.

Marinette 0 1 — 1

Iron Mountain 1 1 — 2

First Half

IM — Hakamaki, 3:16

Second Half

IM — Wolsker, 32:21

M — Cegelski, 1:54