Cards struggle with wind in loss

Players, coach agree passing needs work following 4-0 loss to Vikings

BIG RAPIDS — Players and coaches alike from the Big Rapids girls soccer team said the same thing Wednesday afternoon.

The Cardinals dropped a 4-0 decision to Cadillac and everyone involved believed the contest came down to one thing — passing.

“I think we panicked a little and didn’t pass like we can,” Big Rapids’ Sierra Raglin said.

DRIBBLE: Big Rapids' Chloe Williams (right) tries to get around a Cadillac defender Wednesday in girls soccer action at Big Rapids High School. (Pioneer photo/Bob Allan)

That was evident to Big Rapids coach Emmanuel Foko in the second half of the contest.

The Vikings took a 2-0 lead in the first half, scoring a pair of goals five minutes apart on tallies by Erica Erway and Sydney Barcey after they were able to use the wind to pin the Cardinals deep in their zone.

But in the second half, with Big Rapids having the wind, the Vikings were able to use strong passing, work around the Cardinals defense and score two more goals — one each by Holy Kennard and Molly McLaurin.

“I think (Cadillac) was better in the second half,” Foko said. “They were able to move the ball into the wind and score.”

Passing is something Foko and the Cardinals have been working on since the season began. Wednesday afternoon’s game stressed how important it is to be able to work the ball from back to front, from left to right or right to left.

“What we need to work on is passing under pressure and still be yourself under that pressure,” Foko said.

Raglin agreed.

The senior midfielder said the team has worked hard on the passing and the first two games of the year — Monday’s game with Grant and Cadillac on Wednesday — show why that will be important for the rest of the season.

“Passing is a very big goal for us,” Raglin said. “They were able to pass around us. We have to be able to do that to (other teams).”

Big Rapids did have its share of chances in the second half, sending a couple of shots over the crossbar and wide. Foko believes that if any one of the opportunities would have found the back of the net, it would have been a different contest.

“I think our confidence level would have gone up,” he said. “If we could have score, that would have changed the complexion of the game and that could have led to more scores.”

Big Rapids is off until April 10 when it travels to Alma.

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

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