Crossroads soocer falls in district contest, 2-1

BIG RAPIDS — Perhaps the most surprised player on the field was the player who scored the goal.

Pentwater’s Sierra Petersen lifted a shot from well beyond the 18-yard box and the shot kept drifting. It found the perfect spot, in the upper right corner and just above the outstretched hands of Crossroads Charter Academy keeper Courtney Carlson and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

TO THE BALL: Crossroads Charter Academy's Meron Slomp (right) and Pentwater's Madeline Root battle for the ball during girls soccer action Tuesday at Mitchell Creek Sports Complex. (Pioneer photo/Bob Allan)

The Falcons used that goal, added one more, then held on to defeat the Cougars 2-1 in the Division 4 district semifinal game at Mitchell Creek Sports Complex on Tuesday evening.

“I had no idea it went in; I was confused,” Petersen said. “It wasn’t a shot exactly.”

Crossroads Charter Academy coach Ross Meads knew when the shot left Petersen’s foot it was going to be trouble.

“As soon as it went up, I thought, ‘Oh, crap,’” he said.

Pentwater controlled play throughout the first half, using the wind to its advantage. Petersen was able to control an errant clearing ball and send the ball back on net 10 minutes into the contest.

The Falcons then added to their lead 13 minutes later as the Cougars failed to trap a ball and went to the foot of Megan Silvers. Silvers then sent a pass down the right side to Andrea Burdick, who was able to beat Carlson for a 2-0 lead.

“(Pentwater coach Dan Nugent) made the decision that I would have and that was to take the wind in the first half,” Meads said. “They controlled play in the first half.”

The score remained 2-0 through the first 10 minutes of the second half when Silvers picked up a red card after sliding into Carlson. Pentwater played the rest of the game down one player.

Crossroads took advantage, gaining control of the game and earning more opportunities despite Nugent’s strategy.

“You want to load up the defense and move a midfielder or two back,” Nugent said. “I think it took us 10 minutes or so to figure out how we were going to play without a player.”

The Cougars finally broke through with a little more than 13 minutes remaining in the contest as Anika Walton-Stanciel beat Pentwater keeper Brittany Walley to cut the deficit to 2-1.

CCA had plenty of other opportunities, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

“The last 15 minutes we had a lot of good scoring chances, but their keeper stepped up and made some good saves,” Meads said. “(Jordyn Holmes) also played well for them. (CCA’s Aubrielle Angell) is a pretty good player and she shut her down pretty good.”

Pentwater now advances to Thursday’s district final against Mason County Eastern at Mitchell Creek Sports Complex.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this game.

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