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Meet finalists for 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference girls soccer player of year

Fan voting opens at 6 a.m. Friday, June 17.

North Muskegon has been the benchmark for girls soccer in the West Michigan Conference for a handful of years now.

Meanwhile, Whitehall’s Maggie Evans has set the pace in goal-scoring with her prolific production during her high school career.

Accordingly, Evans and a pair of players from North Muskegon were the picks when it came time to selecting finalists for the 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference girls soccer Player of the Year award.

A CatchMark panel consisting of Scott DeCamp, Brent Raeth and Conner Raeth reviewed a list of top players from the league. After some deliberation, the panel came to a consensus of Evans along with North Muskegon’s Sam Johnson and Natalie Pannucci as Player of the Year finalists.

Several factors helped determine the finalists, including season statistics, all-around contributions, team success and other intangibles.

Friday morning (June 17), a poll will open and readers will vote to determine which of the aforementioned players wins the award. Readers will be allowed to vote once per hour until the poll closes at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 21.

The West Michigan Conference Player of the Year banquet for 2022 spring sports will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Viking Athletic Center in Whitehall.

Here are capsules on each of the Player of the Year finalists for girls soccer:

Whitehall’s Maggie Evans (1) pursues the ball during a match against Oakridge Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Whitehall, Mich. She topped 100 career goals in this contest. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

MAGGIE EVANS

Whitehall senior forward

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region. All-state has not been released yet.
  • Whitehall’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 114 goals, doing so in only three seasons. The 2020 season was canceled because of COVID.
  • Finished with 36 goals this season.
  • Whitehall finished with a 10-8 overall record and a 6-1 mark in the West Michigan Conference. The Vikings advanced to the Division 2 district finals.
  • Signed with Muskegon Community College for volleyball. She is a standout setter in that sport.
North Muskegon’s Sam Johnson tries to cool off prior to a scorching state semifinal match against Kalamazoo Christian Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at Comstock Park High School’s Panther Stadium in Comstock Park, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

SAM JOHNSON

North Muskegon junior forward

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region, as well as second-team all-state.
  • Finished with 16 goals and nine assists this season.
  • North Muskegon had a 16-4-1 overall record and 7-0 mark in the West Michigan Conference.
  • The Norse finished ranked No. 4 in Division 4. They captured conference, district and regional championships.
  • North Muskegon’s season ended in a 1-0 state semifinals loss to Kalamazoo Christian Tuesday at Comstock Park.
North Muskegon junior Natalie Pannucci poses for a portrait in the CatchMark studio on March 23, 2022, in Whitehall, Mich. (Billy Mann | CatchMark)

NATALIE PANNUCCI

North Muskegon junior forward

  • First-team all-conference, all-district, all-region and first-team all-state.
  • Team-high 19 goals, plus nine assists on the season.
  • North Muskegon had a 16-4-1 overall record and 7-0 mark in the West Michigan Conference.
  • The Norse finished ranked No. 4 in Division 4. They captured conference, district and regional championships.
  • North Muskegon’s season ended in a 1-0 state semifinals loss to Kalamazoo Christian Tuesday at Comstock Park.
  • Pannucci also is a standout volleyball player, as she was a 2021 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference Player of the Year finalist in that sport.

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Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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