Big Rapids soccer tops Reed City to set up district rematch vs Ludington

SLIDE: Reed City’s Liza Emington (5) slides to break up a rush by Big Rapids’ Josie Sanders on Tuesday in a Division 3 pre-district game. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

SLIDE: Reed City’s Liza Emington (5) slides to break up a rush by Big Rapids’ Josie Sanders on Tuesday in a Division 3 pre-district game. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids’ girls soccer team has been waiting a year for another shot at Ludington.

It will get another crack at the Orioles on Thursday after defeating visiting Reed City 6-0 on Tuesday in a Division 3 pre-district matchup. Ludington has eliminated Big Rapids (21-2) in the district tournament each of the past four seasons.

“It should be a great match,” Cardinals coach Curt Ray said of Thursday’s game, which will be at Ludington. “I think we are the strongest team in our district. It’s just a mental block we have trying to get by Ludington.”

Big Rapids senior Hannah Davis, who had a goal and an assist Tuesday, said this year’s team is different.

“We’re ready,” she said. “We’ve worked hard all season. I think we have cleaned up everything we’ve struggled with in the past. This is the best team we’ve had coming through here, so it’s our time now.

“There is always some pressure, but it is mostly excitement.”

Ray said he doesn’t want his team to overthink on the field Thursday.

“I just told them to trust each other and to play a clean game and remember how you got to 21-2,” he said. “We just keep stressing to them to make things easy, because when we usually turn the ball over, it’s from bad decision-making.”

Freshman Selena Wright added two goals and an assist, while Kaitlyn Ray, Kayla Somsel and Jenna Buck each scored a goal. Buck added two assists, and Ray had one.

Halle Stork made two saves to earn the shutout.

“I thought we started out really well passing and possessing the ball,” Curt said. “We are trying to get them to make good choices, because as we go into Thursday, things are going to be a lot more physical. It’s going to be a lot tougher challenge for them.”

Reed City coach Bryan Hall said it was one of the team’s best efforts of the season.

“I was happy with the intensity level we came out and played with, because it doesn’t matter what we drew up on paper if we didn’t raise our intensity,” Hall said.

Brenna Westhoff made 15 saves for the Coyotes. They graduate 10 seniors.

“They’re strong,” Hall said. “We lean on them a lot. There will be some holes to fill.”

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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