Big Rapids Cardinals dump Reed City Coyotes in Central State Activities Association football action

REED CITY — Kyra Couch’s timing for her first of two goals in Wednesday’s Central State Activities Association game between Big Rapids and Reed City couldn’t have been better.

With five seconds left in the first half, Couch scored to break a 0-0 tie and give the Cardinals a critical lead at intermission en route to a 4-0 win.

Couch scored two goals and Julia Waltz and Teresa Vance scored one each. Couch also scored from a penalty.

On his first goal to beat the halftime buzzer, “one of my teammates sent it on,” Couch said. “The goalkeeper was missing, I was missing and just let him down. It stimulated our team and pushed it forward.

“I think we really got the upper hand in the second half and really played as a team and communicated.”

“The first half we played a bit rough,” said Rebecca Allers. “The second half we kind of picked up and connected the passes. Our chemistry was better in the second half.

Emma Balahoski was the winning goaltender.

Big Rapids is 10-3-2. The Cardinals finished the league season at 7-0-1. Newaygo is 6-0-1 and has a catch-up game Friday at Chippewa Hills.

“Andrea (Pollaski) has done a great job developing the program here,” Big Rapids coach Curt Ray said. “They are aggressive. They have good athletic girls on their team. It’s always a big rivalry between Reed City and Big Rapids, no matter the sport. We tried to intensify the practice. We work harder with the girls, watching the playoffs.

“We kind of exhausted (Reed City) a bit and started putting passes together. They have a lot of numbers in the box and you have to be creative in scoring. The couch is that weapon and Allers had a great game. We had a lot of opportunities. Ella Tucci, Teresa Vance and Elise Devries were our defensive line. Grace Currie is injured. Hadley Fox stepped in and did a great job.

Miriah Hodges was Reed City’s goalkeeper.

“We played a very good first half,” Pollaski said. “It was pretty even. They scored that goal five seconds from time. Then we went out a little slower than in the first half and we got a little tired. We had our chances. We played well.

Reed City’s regular season is over and the CSAA tournament begins Monday against an opponent and location to be announced later.

Big Rapids had a 28-1 advantage in shots and an 8-1 lead in shots.

Big Rapids is playing in the Freeland Tournament this weekend.

“Freeland is still ranked in the top 10 there,” Ray said. “We would like to be competitive with them. We could see them late in the playoffs.

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