BIG RAPIDS — Even playing shorthanded, the Crossroads Charter Academy boys soccer team proved it can still be pretty good.

With two starters out and several other players moved to fill the void, the Cougars made it look easy in recording a 7-1 victory over Pine River on Tuesday.

Crossroads Charter Academy will be without forward Andrew Duddles for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury. Sweeper Justin Thorne was held out due to a back injury, though he could have been pressed into service if needed.

There was no need.

“I saw a couple of line-ups that I liked and I’ll take into next week,” Crossroads coach Ross Meads said.

The changes resulted in one of the best goals Meads has seen in some time.

With the Cougars already sporting a 3-0 lead, Bruno Santos grabbed control of the ball and came into Pine River box when he was stopped by a pair of defenders.

Santos, however, slipped a pass through the Bucks to an open Leonel Partida, who fired the ball into the net for a 4-0 advantage with just under 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

“We didn’t move the ball as well as I would have liked (Friday) and that concerned me,” Meads said. “We made some adjustments and I think that is a sign of a mature team, a team that can move to new positions and adapt.”

The Cougars took a 5-0 lead with six minutes remaining in the half as Kyle Goben scored after deflecting a clearing kick by the Bucks.

While the rest of the scoring came from the usual suspects — two each by Caleb Bennett, Santos and Partida — the Cougars had other chances by those whose name doesn’t get in the scorebook.

Jack Aksorn Temi Fadayomi and Canyon Butler all generated chances, but came up empty.

“Soccer is a funny game in that it takes 11 guys, but there aren’t stats like there are in other sports,” Meads said. “In football, there are tackles and sacks and it is easy to get on the stat sheet.

“In soccer there really is keeper saves, goals and assists,” he continued. “Those guys worked their tails off, but don’t have anything to show for it, but it is still nice to see them get chances.”

Trailing 7-0, Pine River finally got on the board as Eric Martin scored with two minutes remaining in the contest for the final outcome.

“We didn’t communicate as well as we have,” Pine River coach Jenny Hoaglund said. “But we played hard all the way to the end.”

Crossroads Charter Academy is in action Thursday when it travels to Pentwater. The Bucks are in action next week in the Northern Michigan Soccer League crossover contest.