On Monday, the Big Rapids Cardinals defeated the Tri County Vikings in Central State Activities Association women’s football action.

BIG RAPIDS — The stage is set for the showdown of the undefeated powers of the Central State Activities Association on Wednesday when Big Rapids (5-0, 8-3-1) takes on Newaygo (4-0, 8-1) for the rights to first place in the football standings.

The Cardinals shut out Tri County (4-1, 5-2-1) on Monday in a 1-0 thriller with Kyra Couch converting the game’s only goal.

“I think we played physically and bonded better with them in the second half,” junior Grace Currie said. “We played our game.”

“It was good,” sophomore Teresa Vance said. “We connected faster than usual. I think we played more aggressive in the second half.

Vance got his second assist of the season in the second half.

Big Rapids had a 28-9 shooting advantage over Tri County, including 15-5 on shots. Emma Balahoski had one save and Geralynn McAdams four for the Cardinals.

“Couch is doing a great job at the top,” Big Rapids coach Curt Ray said. “She’s quick and physical.”

Ray recognized the talent valued by the Tri County team.

“They are very aggressive and come to the ball and don’t stand and wait,” he said. “That’s what we preach to the team here. If you’re closest to the ball, go for it. I think we have passed them. We had a lot of chances to score but we couldn’t put them in the back of the net.

“I think we eventually exhausted them. Most of their girls played the whole game. Tri County is a solid team. They are aggressive when going for the ball. They win a lot of balls 50-50. We played better in the second half. We told the children that there were a lot of spectators in the stands and that we didn’t need them on the field.

Newaygo was a “great technical passing team from a year ago,” Ray said. “The season is about two-thirds over and now is not the time to play lethargic.”

Reed City 2, Shelby 2

In Monday’s encounter, Olivia Lewis and Taylor Hilliard scored for Reed City with assists for Paige Lofquist and Taylor Fredrick.

“Shelby played hard with a lot of uncalled fouls,” said Reed City manager Andrea Pollaski.

Reed City plays Grant at 5 p.m. Wednesday at home.

Kent City 2, Chippewa Hills 0

Chippewa Hills fell to 3-8 overall and 0-5 in the CSAA with a tough loss on Monday.

“We had good defensive play from Madison Brewer, Hayley Gomber and Cadence Jewell,” Chippewa Hills coach Jay Franks said. “Offensively, Melinda Burgess, Sydney Hartzler, Kirstin Sherman and Ella Palmer put in solid performances.

“This match was an uphill battle for both sides. We had chances to score, unfortunately we couldn’t convert those chances. We hope to bring strong play in the next game. Hopefully we can convert a bit more and finish strong.

Chippewa Hills will be at home Friday against Belding.

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