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Prep soccer — Iron Mountain blanks Marines

MARINETTE — The Marinette boys soccer team ran into a very good Iron Mountain-Norway co-op squad on Thursday and fell by a score of 2-0 in a non-conference game for the Marines’ first loss of the season.

Marinette coach Frank Pohlmann was happy with the way his team performed this early in the season against one of the better teams they will face all year.

“Iron Mountain is a very good soccer team, by far the best we have played so far,” he said. “They had a good passing game, an outstanding goalkeeper that took command of the defensive end and a couple other guys that could get around the field well. I hope my team is not on themselves because they played a very good soccer game. Iron Mountain is as good as any team in our Northeastern Conference, and if we can stay with them I’m optimistic we can play with the other teams in the NEC.”

The Mountaineers’ first goal came in the first half when they centered the ball in the penalty area in front of Marinette’s goal, and one of the Marines defenders came up to make a play on the ball. When he did that, the ball went off his foot and came up to hit him on the hand, causing a handball and giving IM-Norway a penalty kick.

Senior Ryan Hakamaki stepped up to the line for penalty kick and hit the back of the net to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 advantage.

Aside from the penalty, the first half was split relatively evenly possession-wise and the score stayed the same for the remainder of the first 45-minutes of action.

Marinette’s junior goalie Aaron Tickler saved several IM-Norway shots before junior Tyler Bengtson connected on a deep goal in the 77th minute to put the Mountaineers up 2-0.

“As the game went on, we needed to make adjustments in order to put offensive pressure on them, but it didn’t really work because (IM) is a well-organized, very good soccer team,” Pohlmann said.

Iron Mountain faces Kingsford Tuesday.