Thompson delivers for Cards

Big Rapids senior scores hat trick, two assists in 6-2 win

BIG RAPIDS — Over the past two games, Erin Thompson has proven she can do a lot more than score goals for the Big Rapids soccer team.

Big Rapids coaches stressed that Thompson play more of a role in providing crossing passes and through balls, beginning with last week’s 7-0 win against Reed City. Thompson continued to play the role of distributor for the Cardinals with two assists in a 6-2 win over Fremont Providence Christian on Monday.

“Especially in the last couple of games, they’ve wanted me to do more crossing passes to get teammates involved,” she said. “(We had) lots of good through balls and crossing passes, which is pretty much what we want to do offensively.”

Thompson’s new role didn’t prevent her from scoring, however. The senior accounted for three goals in the win, with junior Ashlen Bell scoring on a pair of goals assisted on crosses by Thompson.

GO FOR IT: Big Rapids forward Erin Thompson looks to knock the ball out of the possession of Fremont Providence Christian’s Emily Liescheidt during the Cardinals’ 6-2 win on Monday. Thompson scored three goals and had two assists for Big Rapids in the win. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

Bell said she was happy to be on the receiving end of a pair of Thompson’s passes in the win.

“She had a lot of good crosses and we got a lot of good through balls from the midfielders,” Bell said.

Big Rapids would score three times in the first 10 minutes of play to take a commanding lead. Thompson caught Fremont Providence Christian off guard with a boot to the left bottom corner that was out of reach to make it 1-0.

The Cardinals extended the lead with 31:38 remaining in the half when Thompson’s initial shot in front of the net was stopped by the Fremont Providence Christian keeper, but the ball ricocheted off another defender’s foot to make it 2-0 on Thompson’s second goal of the evening.

Thompson then hit Bell on a crossing pass about a minute later to take a 3-0 lead.

Fremont Providence Christian struck with 50 seconds remaining in the half when Becca Wolffis nailed a header past Casey Brockette to make it 3-1 going into intermission.

Curt Ray, who was filling in for Big Rapids coach Emmanuel Foko along with Andrew Archer, said he thought Thompson and the rest of the team did a good job of advancing the ball on Monday to create offense.

“I think we moved the ball well, overall,” he said. “Erin (Thompson) did a nice job of targeting other players on crosses, which she’s done a good job with the last couple of games. We still need to work on getting in front of shots and challenging more defensively.”

Big Rapids increased its lead to 4-1 when Bell redirected another Thompson cross with 23:38 remaining.

Fremont Providence Christian cut the lead to 4-2 with 22:37 when Brockette was unable to get to a loose ball before Christine Michael to make it 4-2.

Thompson added another goal to put the game away on a breakaway, after missing a pair of other opportunities on the break earlier in the half to make it 5-2 with 11:24 left.

Paige Johnson added another goal on a break started by Katie Hancock to make it 6-2 with 4:49 left in the game.

Thompson said although she thought the team didn’t play its best soccer on Monday, it was able to make some progressions.

“We’ve had games where we let it slip away in the second half before,” Thompson said. “We know we need to finish those games strong if we’re going to continue to progress.”

Big Rapids is in action again on Friday when it travels to Greenville.

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

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