Big Rapids soccer tops Reed City

REED CITY — With the Cardinals coming into Tuesday's game against Reed City on a four-game losing streak, Big Rapids boys soccer coach Justin Fox said he wanted his team to get back to basics.

Big Rapids did just that with a 7-0 victory over the Coyotes to improve the Cardinals to 5-0 in the Central State Activities Association (CSAA).

"We've been through a lot," Fox said. "We worked on a lot of things. I simplified what we've been doing in practice just to work on some basic stuff that we were lacking and I think that we improved on that (Tuesday).

"We just wanted to keep it simple," he continued. "Getting pressure, moving the ball and getting a couple of touches like we did (Tuesday) will help us out in the long run."

The Cardinals put their first goal through the Coyotes' net 10:21 into the first half when Kyle Brady knocked in a goal before Big Rapids' Mark Wissink booted a goal on an assist from Ansel White just a minute later to give Big Rapids a 2-0 lead.

At 25 minutes into the first half, Seth Stratz booted in a goal for Big Rapids and just four minutes later, White scored his first goal of the night to give the Cardinals a 4-0 advantage.

White tallied his second goal of the night with three minutes left in the first half to send the Cardinals into the break with a 5-0 lead.

Big Rapids didn't take long getting back on the scoreboard in the second half as Brady recorded his second goal seven minutes into the half to push the lead to 6-0.

The Cardinals tallied their final goal of the night at the halfway mark of the second half as Jimmy Morningstar connected on a scoring chance to put the final tally at 7-0.

While the Coyotes failed to get on the scoreboard, Reed City coach Matt Webster said he was proud of his team for the way they fought back in the second half and didn't give up.

"We've been in that spot before and we say our goal in the second half is to play better and hold them off the mercy," he said. "We were hoping for a little better showing but I'm still proud of the guys because they're still fighting and nobody is giving up."

Webster admitted it has been tough for all parties involved to sit at 1-14 overall after Tuesday's loss.

"It's been so tough," he said. "I haven't been on a team with this many losses so it's been tough even for me. It's just one of those things where you have to realize you're playing for the love of the game and the camaraderie and just getting better every day.

"That's kind of been our focus through the season," he continued. "We have been improved. Other teams we've played, we've had a little more offensive pressure and maybe a little more pressure in the box, so those are like small victories for us."

While the Coyotes are just looking for improvement each game, the Cardinals are looking toward wrapping up back-to-back CSAA titles with their league record at 5-0 and only a few games left before districts begin on Oct. 14.

"That's always one of the goals to win the conference," Fox said. "We're sitting exactly where we want to be, so we're achieving that goal."

Big Rapids (10-7-1, 5-0) will host Tri-County on Friday while Reed City (1-14, 0-5) travels to Kingsley on Thursday.