LEROY — Cole Gingrich is hoping his senior season for the Pine River soccer team will be his best.

Gingrich has occasionally played forward but is focusing on defense.

He scored the team’s only goal in a recent 8-1 loss to Crossroads Charter Academy.

“The goalie was running after me, he went to grab the ball, missed and I jumped over him with the ball and (scored),” Gingrich said.

He’s in his fourth year of high school soccer.

“I want to be good defender and work hard with the team,” Gingrich said, adding that his role this year “is a little different. I want to play 80 minutes and keep going.”

Gingrich also runs track. Soccer gets him in shape for that sport, he noted.

This year “I think I’m quicker and smarter,” he said, adding that he’s looking to play smart with the ball.

Pine River is struggling with lower numbers this season.

“The team has made good progress,” he said. “We’ve had our downs and ups. (Crossroads game) was a combination of both.”

Pine River finished its home season Tuesday against Gladwin.