Superior-esque weather consisting of rain, wind and sub-40 degrees welcomed the Maplebrook 58ers to the first ever UPSL match held in the Twin Ports. Over 70 spectators braved the cold, and the boys hit the turf energized. The game started quite slow, with Superior attempting to break down a Maplebrook squad who allow tons of space until their half-line is conquered. Jordan Finneran ripped the first shot of the game six minutes in, which was punched aside by Drake University's Luke Anderson. Maplebrook began to find some movement forward after the first 15 minutes, and earned two free kicks just above the box, with the second proving lethal as Jacob Simons' ball found the foot of Spencer Overturf to put the visitors up by one. As the game progressed, Superior began to settle in and their pressure forward finally came to fruition when a cross from Raggi Carvalho found Jordan Finneran, who slammed the ball into the net on the first touch. The game went into the half with both squads deadlocked at one a piece.
The second frame began with wingback subs coming in for Superior, which allowed the team to push forward with more intention. Maplebrook's Protus Babaya found some control in the midfield, but anything forward was stifled by Superior's solid centerback pairing of Nick Braun and Matti Sysimaki. Babaya earned himself a yellow card in the 64th minute, and Superior continued to press Maplebrook. The home squad found the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute when David Lopez Perez's ball forward was dummied by Leo Spry, and Mally Lumsden muscled his defender off the ball, leading to a breakaway. Lumsden calmly slotted the ball off the right post and gave City their first lead of the game. Lumsden then earned himself a yellow one minute later on a strong tackle, and the final 20 minutes saw Superior sit back and counter. Maplebrook found another shot, which was punched over the net by Cloquet-native Walker Marquardt, and Henrico Zena was given a yellow in the 94th minute. The last few minutes were spent in Maplebrook's half, and Superior defended their frozen fortress well, earning a much needed 2-1 win over the visitors from Maple Grove.
"First off, thank you to all the fans who came out tonight. The weather wasn't great and we still had people coming out and supporting the boys. We can't wait until we get some nice weather for the fans to enjoy. Our squad is getting better each game, and we're starting to build that chemistry we need to compete at this level. That was the first time we've trailed this season, but I was proud of how we fought back and proved that this squad can be resilient in the face of adversity. We have a tough week next week, with a game on Friday and another on Saturday. Some roster decisions will need to be made, but we have depth and we're going to need everyone on the team to step up into their roles to get two postivite results." - SCFC Head Coach Otto Berti
5-6/NBC Spartan Sports Complex/UPSL League Game
Superior City FC................................1 1 - 2
Maplebrook 58ers.............................1 0 - 1
First Half - MPBK - Spencer Overturf (Jacob Simons) 22', SCFC - Jordan Finneran (Raggi Carvalho) 39'
Second Half - SCFC - Mally Lumsden (David Lopez Perez) 69'
Saves: SCFC - Walker Marquardt (4 saves); MPBK - Luke Anderson (1 save)
Superior City FC have back-to-back games this upcoming week. Superior travel to St. Cloud to take on Granite City FC on Friday night before returning home to face Worthington Community FC on Saturday night. The Saturday night match will be at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex in Superior, WI with the kickoff scheduled for 6:00 PM CT.