Coyote soccer tamed by Cardinals

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids Cardinals soccer team picked up its second conference win of the season on Wednesday night with a 3-0 victory over Central State Activities Association (CSAA) rival Reed City at the Big Rapids soccer field.

“It’s great to be 2-0 in the conference,” Big Rapids coach Curt Ray said. “I don’t think we’ve done that in quite a while and that’s a positive out of it. The girls played three quality teams in the last week with Lakeview, Greenville and Fremont and they played tough and they played physical.”

The Cardinals kept the pressure on offensively for a majority of the first half, but were unable to finish on opportunities on Reed City’s half of the pitch. Reed City got a few looks on the other end from Makenzie Switzer, but Big Rapids’ goalkeeper Gabby Foust kept the Coyotes off the scoreboard. “It’s always a motivational thing for Big Rapids to beat Reed City, so that was nice for the girls,” Big Rapids assistant coach Don Zimmer said. “It was key that we didn’t play lackadaisically and expect to beat them just by showing up…I’d like to see the soccer rivalry get a little bigger.” No goals had gone in until the 10:46 mark in the first half when Kayla Somsel found the back of the net on a great set up from Jessica Kuenzel to take a 1-0 lead in the conference tilt. Three minutes later Hannah Davis tacked on another Cardinal goal to give the home team a 2-0  advantage. “It feels great (to beat Reed City),” Big Rapids senior captain Holli Greenacre said. “I think we really came together, it was a good game for us to slow it down and focus on our passing and our positioning. I think our key was our team spirit. I think we wanted it. We really wanted the win…It’s always a bigger game when we’re playing Reed City.” Somsel and the Cardinals had a few other good looks, but Reed City was able to keep the Cardinals off the board for the rest of the first half with a few solid one-on-one stops. “We actually played great. It’s still early in the season and we’re still putting stuff together,” Reed City coach Bryan Hall said. “We’re not very deep. We didn’t play great our last game but the girls picked it up in the second half and then continued that into (Wednesday)… I thought we did well. I couldn’t really ask for much more.” The Cardinals kept the  offense coming in the second half. Big Rapids added a goal with less than a minute off the clock in the final stanza as Somsel scored her second of the evening, making it 3-0 in favor of the  Cardinals. “Kayla Somsel definitely is always right there,” Ray said. “She brings it every game.” Ray noted that a number of his players had strong outings. The Coyotes were never able to recover and the 3-0 advantage would stand until the final horn blew, giving Big Rapids it’s second CSAA victory of the season. Big Rapids improves to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference while Reed City falls to 0-3-1 on the  season. Reed City is in action again on Saturday in Ludington for tournament play at 10 a.m. while the Cardinals take on Hart at home tonight at 5:30 p.m.