Fast start helps Crossroads get past Pine River
LEROY — Crossroads wasted little time getting on the board against Pine River on Tuesday in Northern Michigan Soccer League action.
The Bucks built a 5-0 halftime advantage en route to an 8-2 victory over the Bucks. The visitors scored three goals in the first 11 minutes.
“I was very pleased with how they moved the ball,” said Crossroads coach Ross Meads. “It was very solid team ball.”
Andrew Duddles scored two of the goals at 31:53 and 29:17 while Leonel Partida converted at 30:33 for his first of three. Caleb Bennett assisted on the first three goals.
Caleb at mid played very well and controlled the game for us,” Meads said. “He and Rene (Pivanti). controlled the ball very well.
Partida and Pivanti scored the next two goals with Blake McKenzie and Sean Smaltz assisting.
Pine River came back with a pair of second half goals but Crossroads countered with scores from Bennett, Justin Thorne on the penalty kick and Partida,
Partida assisted on the first goal and Duddles on the last goal in the second half.
“This was an OK performance,” Duddles said. “We could have played better. We need to play at our level. Future teams are going to be harder.”
Eric Martin notched both goals for Pine River.
“I took it to the goal and made the best possible shot I could,” Martin said.
The Cougars had 11 shots in the first half and 17 in the second. Joseph Balanda had five saves as keeper for Crossroads.
“The defense was solid tonight,” Meads said. “We had a shutout until I pulled some of the starters. I was pleased with the defense as well.”
Josh Gostlin was keeper for the Bucks.
“We just beat ourselves tonight,” Gostlin said. “I know the next time we play them, we’ll come back and play hard.”
Pine River fell to 2-5-2. Crossroads is 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the league.
Crossroads is home Thursday against Clare.