Photos by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark
NORTH MUSKEGON — The West Michigan Conference looks different this school year after the league expanded from eight to 14 members.
It’s business as usual for North Muskegon’s girls soccer program, however. The Norse have maintained their stranglehold on the league.
Division 4 second-ranked North Muskegon defeated visiting Ludington, 3-0, Thursday night at Fred Jacks Memorial Field in the CatchMark SportsNet WMC Game of the Week to wrap up another conference title. It’s the fifth straight WMC championship for the Norse, taking out the 2020 season that was wiped out by COVID-19.
North Muskegon seniors Sam Johnson and Natalie Pannucci led the way once again. Johnson tallied two goals and one assist en route to earning “Player of the Game” honors as decided by CatchMark SportsNet, while Pannucci netted a goal and an assist.
As the Game of the Week, CatchMark SportsNet produced a free livestream. You can watch a replay here:
Here are more details and notables from the match, including a TikTok on Johnson and a highlights/reaction video:
- North Muskegon is 9-0-0 in the WMC and 11-3-1 overall. The Norse have one league game remaining, hosting Orchard View tonight (Friday, May 19).
- According to the MHSAA website, North Muskegon is riding a nine-game winning streak. During that stretch, the Norse have posted six shutouts and outscored opponents 44-3.
- Ludington wrapped up WMC play with a 5-4-1 record. The Orioles are 7-10-2 overall.
- Pannucci got North Muskegon on the board with 19:37 left in the first half, as she chipped in a goal on a cross from Johnson.
- It was Johnson’s turn with 11:41 remaining in the first half, as she took a feed from junior Allie Jensen and deposited the ball into the net on a breakaway.
- Johnson scored again with 9:08 left in the first half on a breakaway, as she got behind the defense and collected the feed from Pannucci.
- North Muskegon kept Ludington keeper Cambria Britton busy. Britton finished with 21 saves on the night.
- For North Muskegon, junior Emma Lamiman made four saves.
- Ludington faces Muskegon in the first round of the Division 2 districts at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at Fruitport. The winner of that match takes on the winner between Fremont and Reeths-Puffer in the district semifinals on May 30 at Fruitport.
- North Muskegon hosts a Division 4 district. The Norse will face the Ravenna/Grand Rapids Wellspring winner in a district semifinal at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. Don’t be surprised if North Muskegon and Western Michigan Christian collide in the district finals on Thursday, June 1, at Fred Jacks Memorial Field. The Norse and Warriors settled for a scoreless tie in the season opener March 23 at WMC’s Warrior Field.
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