Prep soccer: Marquette wins U.P. Championship by topping Kingsford
MARQUETTE – By a 2-0 score, the Marquette Senior High School boys soccer team beat Kingsford in the Upper Peninsula Championships on Saturday at the Kaufman Sports Complex in Marquette.
The Redmen finished the season with a record of 18-5-2, for which head coach Matt Tebo credits the team’s belief in itself.
“When they’re ever down or when they’re ever facing anything, they work together and they fix it,” Tebo said. “I’ve never had a team as good at doing that as this team.”
Tebo said the Redmen gave him a scare at first when they had a slow start to the game, but they flipped the switch and scored both goals in the first half.
The first goal was credited to sophomore Joe Weber in the 12th minute of play; the second by junior Andrew Banitt in the 17th minute.
“It was just a rush,” Weber said of his goal. “I didn’t expect it, but I was just in the right place at the right time.”
The Redmen overpowered the Flivvers, posting 10 shots, seven of which were on goal, as opposed to Kingsford’s two.
Marquette didn’t provide Kingsford much space to work with, Flivvers head coach Alex Milinski said.
“Marquette’s obviously always good,” Milinski said, “but that’s a good thing.
“We always want to play against them.”
Kingsford started out strong, but lost momentum, Milinski said, noting the difficulty of playing three games in a day and trying to win them all.
“I know Marquette likes to play with two backs and the one or two they had back are absolutely phenomenal,” Milinski said. “Other than that, we played well. We played our game.”
The Flivvers only lost three games this season, two of which were in Saturday’s tournament.
While Marquette came into the final with a 2-0 win over Escanaba and a 7-0 triumph over Iron Mountain, Kingsford took a tougher route.
The Flivvers began the tournament with a 3-2 loss to Sault Ste. Marie, but turned things around with a 4-0 victory over Ironwood.
“We’ve played Kingsford before and knew they were going to be tough,” Tebo said.
“They made us work for it, like we expected. (But) in my opinion, the better team on the day won.”
In Tebo’s four years of coaching the Redmen, he has never lost a game at Kaufman.
“This is our home, and this is where special things happen,” Tebo said.