Cardinals soccer blanks Coyotes 4-0

RACE FOR THE BALL: Reed City’s Tyler White (15) and Big Rapids’ Mason Gifford (7) both go after the ball Wednesday. The Cardinals rolled to a 4-0 victory. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

RACE FOR THE BALL: Reed City’s Tyler White (15) and Big Rapids’ Mason Gifford (7) both go after the ball Wednesday. The Cardinals rolled to a 4-0 victory. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — It was one of Reed City’s best soccer games of the season, coach Cody Jacobs said Wednesday night.

But it still wasn’t enough to stop Big Rapids from extending its win streak to eight games.

“I like the way the guys played,” Big Rapids coach Justin Fox said. “We had a few guys in new positions and a few guys who played more than they normally do and gained some good confidence.”

Erik Los, Mason Gifford, Lance Strpko and Ryan Mackall scored goals in a 4-0 Central State Activities Association victory for the Cardinals over Reed City.

Los, Gifford and Strpko scored in the first half when Mackall was goalkeeper. In the second half, Nick Worden took over as keeper and Mackall, playing on offense, had a chance to get the ball past two
defenders and fired a shot past Reed City goalkeeper Alex Brummel.

“It’s good to see us get more confidence on the ball and get used to playing in those positions,” Fox said.

Jacobs said he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Overall, I think it was maybe our best game of the year,” Jacobs said. “We changed some things up formation-wise to really counter what Big Rapids does. We knew we weren’t going to be able to attack and that all of our attack would come off the counter. For the most part, we did well. I was happy with it.”

Coyotes’ senior Quinton Kichak also noticed improvement from his team.

“The last time we played them it was 8-0 after the first half,”he said. “This was definitely an improvement. If we play like this against Kent City, we can come away with a win.”

It was Senior Night and the Cardinals were honoring Hussein Abdulameer, Christian Conati, Los, Brandon Marlette, Mackall, Caleb Newlin, Blake Page, Geoffrey Pisani, Mark Wissink and Worden.

“We played pretty well as a team,” Los said. “We worked a lot on passing. We wanted to work on fundamentals and passing.”

Marlette said he was pleased to get a win on Senior Night.

“It was a good win overall,” Marlette said. “We played solid in the midfield. In the second half, our confidence on the ball and our possession was a lot better.”

Reed City (2-14, 0-8 CSAA) is home Monday against Kent City. Big Rapids (12-6, 8-2 CSAA) is at Lakeview on Monday.

SPORTS BRIEFS

VARSITY GIRLS GOLF

ADA — Big Rapids finished fourth at a Division 3 regional Wednesday, shooting 398 at Egypt Valley Country Club.

Senior Alexis Dawkins shot 83 to qualify for the state final.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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