Big Rapids defeats Reed City soccer 4-1 in rivalry rumble

Big Rapids’ Maddi Martin (7) attempts to get past Reed city’s Megan Gawne (5) during Wednesday’s game. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — When rivals Reed City and Big Rapids face off it’s always a battle, no matter the sport.

The two teams faced each other Wednesday on the soccer pitch, with Big Rapids winning 4-1 in a physical contest.

“We possessed the ball,” head coach Curt Ray said. “There were a lot of good short passes. We just had to attack quicker. We had a lot of good opportunities out there.

“It was a good win against a big rival.”

“They’re more organized than we are and they had a deeper bench,” head coach Andrea Polaski said. “We got tired.”

The Coyotes struck first when Aliyah Fitch beat goalkeeper Emma Balahoski on a free kick. Big Rapids responded quickly with a Selena Wright goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams had scoring opportunities in the half. Big Rapids’ Josie Sanders scored on a putback kick to put the Cardinals up 2-1 at the break.

“I thought we definitely showed up today,” Sanders said. “We’ve had a tendency to not play up to our potential, but today we came out strong and didn’t let up.

The two teams continued to battle. Sanders was able to score on another putback to give Big Rapids a 3-1 lead at the 18:04 mark of the second half. Emily Morrone scored the game’s final goal at 38:58 to put the Cardinals up 4-1.

“We went full throttle today,” Morrone said. “We had a scoring mindset today and we connected our passes well.”

“In the second half, I think we played better even though we were tired,” Polaski said. “We won more fifty-fifty’s and connected on more passes. Even though it was 4-1 I think our second half was our best half.”

Next up for Big Rapids is a tournament at Boyne City this weekend that will feature teams such as Lake Orion, Clarkston, Gaylord, and Alpena. The Cardinals are hoping that the competition against larger schools will help prepare them for their district opener next week against Shelby.

“We can’t come out and expect to win every game,” Sanders said. “There will be some very good teams there but it will be a great opportunity for us to prepare for the postseason.

“These teams will come hard to the ball so it will be important for us to give our best effort.”

Reed City (11-2-3) will face Kent City on Monday before hosting Lakeview on Tuesday. Polaski hopes to have her squad fine-tuned for postseason play.

“We’re going to try to focus on connecting our passes better to prepare for districts. We have some room to grow. “

BASEBALL

Morley splits with Lakeview

MORLEY — The Mohawks lost game one 4-2 but came back to win game two 5-3 on Wednesday.

Landon Elanbaas pitched game one and struck out eight batters in 5.1 innings. Aaron Moore had a double and Trevor Underhill a single.

In game two, Moore picked up the win by striking out three batters and giving up zero earned runs in 3.1 innings. A sixth inning Tucker Cook double drove in two runs to tie the game at 3-3. Ryland Nelson’s go-ahead RBI single at the bottom of the sixth clinched the win for the Mohawks.

Underhill and Elenbaas had two hits.

Morley Stanwood (16-9, 12-2) hosts Tri County Friday in a non-league game.

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