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Marquette defeats Mountaineers to take UP soccer championship

Marquette's Max Dawson, left, scores the first goal of the finals around a Iron Mountain defenders Brenden LaPoint, center, and Bryce Neuens during the Division 1 finals of the Upper Peninsula Championships boys soccer tournament held at Kaufman Sports Complex in Marquette on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Senior High School boys varsity soccer team won the Division 1 title at the Upper Peninsula Championship tournament held at Kaufman Sports Complex in Marquette on Saturday.

This was Marquette’s 14th consecutive title in the tournament, according to MSHS head coach Dan Salmon.

Marquette was seeded directly into the semifinals, where it blanked Houghton 5-0. In the finals, the Redmen downed Iron Mountain 8-0.

The Mountaineers reached the finals with a shootout victory over Kingsford. Iron Mountain led 3-2 until Kingsford’s Cade Counter tied the game on a corner kick that deflected into the net at the end of regulation. In the shootout, Iron Mountain prevailed 4-3, with Dylan Wolsker delivering the game-winner.

“Iron Mountain is a good, well coached team and they beat us earlier in the year,” Salmon said. “We really wanted to get back on the field with them and it was the perfect setting (Saturday) in the U.P. Finals.

“It’s too bad this team cannot play in districts downstate. I think we could’ve done a lot of damage down there and hopefully someday soon the schools from the U.P. can get back to playing district soccer.”

The Redmen finished their season with a 21-2 record, which included four tournament championships and a runner-up finish. During the U.P. tournament, Marquette’s Max Dawson set the Marquette single-season boys goal record as he reached 39 goals for the year.

“The coaching staff challenged the boys to play a complete game, which we did,” Salmon said about the title tilt. “Very proud of the fact the defense did not give up any shots and the offense had 10 different players gain a goal or assist. It was a true team effort in the championship game.”

In the consolation match, Kingsford and Houghton tied 4-4 in regulation. The Gremlins won the shootout to earn third place.

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