Traverse City –
The Big Rapids Cardinals boys soccer team finished in third place at the Traverse City Christian “The Cup” tournament this past Saturday. The Cardinals posted a 2-1 record on the day. Big Rapids started the day with a 1-0 win over a much improved Buckley squad. 10 minutes after a scoreless first half, Andrew Klarecki put Sam Miller through the center of the Bears defense with a perfectly weighted ball that Miller finished off of the right post and in for the match winner. It was Miller’s 3rd goal of the season. Jared Worden was credited with the clean sheet in goal for Big Rapids.
In the tournament semi-final, the Cards faced the host Sabers. A strong stretch of possession, and a bit of confusion as an injured Seth Stratz nealt at the edge of the penalty area, resulted in a powerful goal through the outstretched hands of Cardinal keeper Kyle Carter midway through the first half. The Cardinals continued to be well organized defensively into the second half. Although the Cardinals created few chances toward the Sabers goal, defensive pressure and increased possession thwarted TC Christian attempts to put the match away. Only a deflected cross from the right side of goal could beat Carter in the second half, and the Cardinals fell to their hosts, 0-2.
In the finale, Big Rapids battled Hillsdale Academy for third place. Scott Vander Sloot continued his exceptional goal scoring pace as he headed home a Sam Miller cross 9 minutes into the match after Klarecki sent Miller streaking down the right side. Vander Sloot now has 7 goals in 8 matches. Continued pressure from the Cardinals led to a Seth Stratz corner kick in the 23rd minute. Junior Kyle Brady’s headed effort from the Stratz corner found the top corner of the Colts goal, sending the Cardinals into the break leading 2-0. Both teams continued to share possession in the 2nd half, generating few opportunities. A free kick 25 yards from the Cardinal goal as time was expiring was saved by keeper Worden, but the Cards defense was unable to clear the rebound and Hillsdale Academy cut the lead in half to end the match.
Big Rapids in now 6-2 on the season and will travel to Manistee on Tuesday, Sept 11.