Posted by Max Harden on June 4th, 2019
BIG RAPIDS — It was a year of growth for the Crossroads Charter Academy girls soccer team.
The Cougars finished with a 4-11-3 record under first-year girls coach Josh Yurick. Yurick, who coaches the boys team as well, admitted that this season was a whirlwind for him and his team.
“The season was hectic with scheduling,” he said. “We had several weeks with only one training session. This, unfortunately, did not allow us to make the necessary adjustments that are essential to the game.”
The learning curve was steep for the Cougars, but they were more than willing to absorb what Yurick was teaching them.
“The team did well considering we were often limited to quick bus or classroom discussions regarding tactical changes,” he said. “The group this year was eager to learn the game; to learn to tactics, new terms, new strategies, new-to-them positions, and new skills.
“Teaching them a new set of vocabulary terms and tactics around the game was great. There were flashes of beautiful play and great saves and goals throughout, but that’s soccer and as to be expected.”
Leading the way for the Cougars was sophomore Allie Angell with 15 goals and three assists. Leah Davis added 12 goals and eight assists. Both girls earned all-conference accolades.
“Allie and Leah are a devastating duo,” Yurick said. “Higher scoring games offered them hat tricks each and the chance to provide service to teammates so that could score.”
Senior Bryanna Cowles and freshman Jessica Coles were named all-conference as key components to the team.
“Bryanna was a hardworking and dedicated midfield wing,” Yurick said. She was smooth and confident on the ball, fearless and tenacious to get the ball, and had unending endurance. Jessica is a key player. She can play anywhere and execute key passes and facilitate plays anywhere. Most of the scoring comes directly from her effort to move through the back and midfield.”
Goalkeeper Triston Murray, who wasn’t sure if she was going to play soccer this spring, stepped into the role and performed above expectations with an 81 percent save percentage.
“She makes unbelievable saves runs the defense and is respected by the team for her ability to anchor the back line and stop attacks,” Yurick said.
CCA loses four seniors in Cowles, Alayna DuBreuil, Samantha Taylor, and Mary Wendlowsky but returns a young team full of promise.
“They played key roles on and off the pitch,” Yurick said. “Some of the traditions that the girls have carried for several seasons may slip away. Two key anchor defenders with practice and knowledge, a spirited adaptive play-anywhere athlete, and a pint-sized powerhouse that never gave in will leave a legacy to those positions for seasons to come.”