Crossroads loses first game

BIG RAPIDS — The Crossroads Charter Academy varsity soccer team began its season on Thursday evening with a 7-0 setback to the Northern Michigan Christian High School Comets at the Mitchell Creek Sports Complex.

 When Wednesday’s practice ended, the Cougars had less than 11 players who were able to play. This prompted head coach Josh Yurick to do some impromptu recruiting in order to fill out his roster in time for kickoff.

 “Between the end of practice (Wednesday) and today, we scraped up a couple guys, some of them from last year’s middle school and are entering (as) freshman,” Yurick said. “We had to field 11 and we did.”

 In the end, Crossroads began the match with 11 players and one substitute on the bench, some of whom have had little to no time to train for the opener.

Yurick said that he views Thursday’s result as a starting point for his team, taking into consideration the difficulty that comes with not being able to thoroughly prepare for the pressure of 11-on-11 varsity soccer.

 “I’m not disappointed as much as I am excited, because now I know what direction we need to head into,” Yurick said.

 Crossroads conceded its first goal of the game 12 minutes after kickoff, and kept NMCHS off the board until a few minutes before halftime, where the Comets managed to push across to more goals and go into the half leading 3-0.

After spending most of the first half in their own defensive zone, the Cougars pushed their way down the field and came close to preventing a shutout with a handful of scoring chances, only to be denied each time by their opposition.

 “I think nerves got into us; we lost our composure on the ball,” Yurick said. “We sent some really good opportunities wide, over (the crossbar) or straight to the keeper. On the defensive side of things, they kept their head up pretty well.”

The Comets scored two more goals within the opening 12 minutes of the second half to push their lead over Crossroads to 5-0, before scoring twice more during the final 15 minutes, ending the goal tally at seven.

Yurick highlighted the performance of junior Javyd Sawyer-Ocasio, saying he “played the best game of his life.” Also receiving praise from the coach was senior goalkeeper Cameron Carnes, who tallied 20 saves for Crossroads, 12 of those came in the second half.

“There were some mistakes and the score is proof, but as long as I can get these guys to trust me and understand that I know the game…” Yurick said. “If they can facilitate my expectations on the field and play with a little creativity, we can get better results.

Crossroads will be Gladwin High School on Monday

The Cougars’ next scheduled home match is Sept. 9.

 

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