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West Michigan Conference 2023 girls soccer: North Muskegon in lead, Fremont in pursuit

Race is heating up as Packers, Chippewas and Wildcats are in hot pursuit of Norse.

North Muskegon girls soccer players celebrate a goal during a game against Spring Lake Friday, April 14, 2023, in Spring Lake, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

The 2023 girls high school soccer season is well underway and the West Michigan Conference race is taking shape.

As of Monday, May 1, North Muskegon had climbed to the top of the WMC standings with Fremont, Manistee and Montague in pursuit. Next week is a big one as the Norse visit Manistee on Monday and Fremont on Wednesday. Last Friday, North Muskegon edged visiting Montague, 1-0.

Here’s a look at each of the teams in the West Michigan Conference. Teams are arranged alphabetically.

Editor’s note: Ravenna declined to submit information to CatchMark SportsNet.



Steve Vissia (22nd season)

This Season

8-3-1 overall; 4-1-0 WMC

Last Season

10-9 overall; 6-5 CSAA

Returning Starters:

Julianne Hernandez (Senior, D)

Kaiya Flores (Senior, D)

Bethany Geeting (Senior, D)

Olivia Dunbar (Senior, M)

Riley Chase (Sophomore, F)

Mia Clemence (Sophomore, F)


Hallie Snyder (Freshman, GK)

Maddie Mater (Freshman, M)

Grace Evans (Freshman, M)

Ella Shields (Sophomore, D)

Kate Mellema (Freshman, GK)

Taylor Giangiobbe (Sophomore, M)

Anna Norris (Freshman, D)

Mari Rojas (Senior, M)

Maya Hambrock (Sophomore, M)

Returning Stat Leaders from 2022:

Mia Clemence 17 goals, 9 assists

Riley Chase 13 goals, 5 assists


The Packers are building around their two offensive leaders: Mia Clemence and Riley Chase, who put up impressive numbers as freshmen last year and are enjoying strong seasons so far.

Vissia said he is looking forward to how this group comes together. He said the level of success will depend on how well the Packers bond as a unit.




Joe Gilbert (5th season as head coach)

This Season:

2-5-4 overall; 0-3-2 WMC

Last Season:

4-14-2 overall; 1-6-0 WMC

Returning Starters:

Sandy Salgago (Senior, S)

Julia Greiner (Senior, M)

Sydney Goodrich (Junior, M)

Devyn Adams (Sophomore, C/M)

Cristelia Rangel (Junior, C/M)

Athena Thocher (Junior, C/M)

Kailey Edenburn (Sophomore, D)

Melanie Arjona (Senior, D)

Returning Letterwinners:

Breslyn Porter (Sophomore, M)

Brooklyn Storms (Sophomore, S/M)

Brianna Arjona (Sophomore, M)


Maya Chickering (Senior, GK)

Marianna VanAgtmael (Senior, M/D)

Addison Kokx (Sophomore, S)

Returning Stat Leader from 2022:

Cristelia Rangel 5 goals


Hart does not field a junior varsity squad this season, so the Pirates have quite a few new players. Collectively, the Pirates are looking to continue growing their game this season. Hart scored only 19 total goals in 20 games during the 2022 season; the Pirates have 24 goals through their first 11 games this season. Last season, Hart allowed 77 total goals; this season, they’ve allowed 20 through 11 contests.




Kris Anderson (19th Season)

This Season:

3-7-2 overall; 2-3-1 WMC

Last Season:

13-8-1 (2nd place in Lakes 8)

Returning Starters:

Maddy Billings (Sophomore, C/M)

Maddie Gasaway (Sophomore, F)

Elianna Jeruzal (Sophomore, M/D)

Annie Kline (Senior, D/M)

Maddi Martin (Senior, M)

Key Returners and Newcomers:

Erika Hatch (Senior, M)

Grace Ashley (Junior, GK)

Kylee Johnson (Sophomore, F)

Mya Martin (Sophomore, M)

Emma McKinley (Junior, F/M)

Katie Tangel (Sophomore, D)

Ashley Stowe (Sophomore, D)

Returning Stat Leaders from 2022:

Maddy billings 13 goals, 5 assists

Maddie Gasaway 3 goals


The Orioles are very young, returning only five juniors and seniors combined. They also had to overcome some injuries heading into this season.

Anderson said the team has good chemistry as well as depth in the midfield. The Orioles are young on defense, including at goalkeeper, and they have young strikers.




Kathy Smith (2nd season; also coached the team from 1997-2002)

This Season:

7-1-1 overall; 3-1-1 WMC

Last Season:

6-11 overall; 0-8 in Lakes 8

Returning Starters:

Abby Robinson (Senior, D)

Mariah Bialek (Senior, D)

Allison Kelley (Senior, M)

Ceci Postema (Junior, D)

Laura Eix (Junior, M)

Jayna Edmondson (Junior, M/F)

Kate Somsel (Sophomore, M)

Reese Shively (Sophomore, F)

Piper Eskridge (Sophomore, GK)

Key Returners:

Bailey Gajewski (Junior, M)

Avery Vaas (Junior, D)

Olivia Vasquez (Senior, M)

Ashlee Kissinger (Senior, D)

Aubrey Rischel (Sophomore, M)


Emily Rabeler (Senior, M)

Macaela Bruce (Freshman, M/D)

Returning Stat Leaders from 2022:

Allison Kelley 2 goals, 4 assists

Kate Somsel 4 goals, 3 assists

Mariah Bialek 2 goals, 1 assist

Abby Robinson 2 goals

Reese Shively 2 goals


The Chippewas have a good mix of youth and experience. Smith said that with the additions of new teams in the conference, it’s difficult to predict where the Chippewas will be in the mix although they’ve competed well to this point.




Kara Raeth (6th season)

This Season:

4-3-0 overall; 3-1-0 WMC

Last Season:

10-7-0 overall; 5-2-0 WMC, 3rd place

Returning Starters:

Emma Peterson (Senior, M)

Peyton Johnson (Senior, M)

Adilynn Peterson (Sophomore, D)

Abby Dyer (Sophomore, D)

Kiley Miller (Sophomore, D)

Alyson Balder (Sophomore, F)

Ava Pelton (Sophomore, F)

Addison Pranger (Sophomore, GK)

Braylyn Bultema (Sophomore, F)

Anastacia Trevino (Senior, F)

Katie Nuttall (Senior, F)


Lilly Rice (Freshman, F)

Elle Moran (Freshman, M)

Returning Stat Leaders from 2022:

Ava Pelton 8 goals

Emma Peterson 8 goals; leader in team assists

Addison Pranger 51 saves (3 on penalty kicks)


Raeth said the team looks solid and should be battling for a top-three spot. At this point of the season, the Wildcats are right in that mix.

Montague defeated Whitehall, 8-0, in a cold and rainy West Michigan Conference girls soccer match Monday, May 1, 2023, in Montague, Mich. It was the CatchMark SportsNet WMC Game of the Week. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)




Caleb Parnin (3rd season)

This Season:

5-3-1 overall; 4-0-0 WMC

Last Season:

16-4-1 overall; First place in WMC, district and regional champs, lost in Division 4 state semifinals

Returning Starters:

Natalie Pannucci (Senior, F)

Sam Johnson (Senior, F)

Kennedy Koekkoek (Junior, D)

Emma Lamiman (Junior, GK)

Katie Kinahan (Junior, M)

Abby Martinez (Junior, D)

Jaley Schultz (Senior, F)


Emma Buchmiller (Freshman, D/M)

Alex Johnson (Freshman, M/F)

Emmy Creed (Freshman, D/M)

Alaina Michael (Freshman, D)

Returning Stats Leaders from 2022:

Natalie Pannucci 19 goals, 9 assists; first-team all-state in Division 4

Sam Johnson 16 goals, 9 assists; second-team all-state in Division 4

Katie Kinahan 5 goals, 6 assists; all-district

Jaley Schultz 6 goals, 6 assists


The Norse lost only three players from last season’s regional championship team. They play a tough regular schedule to prepare for a tournament run.

Parnin said the girls worked hard in the offseason gaining strength and they have a very talented freshman group as well.

All this combines to make the Norse a handful and odds-on favorite to win the WMC. They are a team that is hungry to repeat last year’s success and go even farther.

North Muskegon girls soccer coaches meet near midfield during halftime of a match against Spring Lake Friday, April 14, 2023, in Spring Lake, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)




Greg Fleener (8th season)

This Season:

3-5-1 overall; 1-2-2 WMC

Last Season:

7-14-1 overall; 3-3 WMC

Returning Starters:

Kate Utzinger (Junior, M)

Bri Schaallema (Junior, D)

Cara Morse (Junior, D)

Kaylee Hoeker (Senior, D)

Kyle Lacey (Junior, M)

Adara DeWolf (Senior, M)

Key Returners:

Cadence Veen (Senior, GK)

Haley Seewald (Senior, M)

Ellie DeWitte (Senior, M)

Destiney Bowen (Sophomore, F)

Serenity Carlisle (Junior, F)


Emma Griswald (Senior, D)

Marriah New (Senior, D)

Jazmine Nguyen (Junior, M)

Emilee Nguyen (Junior, D)

Milla Hanks (Junior, D)

Calie Hanson (Junior, D)

Amaya Anderson (Sophomore, F)

Madalynn Smith (Freshman, D)

Cami Guenthardt (Freshman, F)

Returning Stats Leaders from 2022:

Destiney Bowen 3 goals

Cara Morse 2 goals

Adara DeWolf 2 goals


The Eagles have a good mix of young veterans on the back line and new players on the front line. Illustrating the grit of this team, Fleener discussed the various health setbacks that Haley Seewald had to go through to get to play in this, her senior year. Also, Ellie DeWitte going through her second rehab for a torn ACL to make it back to the field.

In this file photo, Oakridge girls soccer coach Greg Fleener high-fives players during introductions prior to a West Michigan Conference match against Whitehall Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Whitehall, Mich.. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)




Burt Wachter (14th season)

This Season:

1-3-2 overall; 0-2-0 WMC

Last Season:

12-7-0 overall; 4-4 Lakes 8

Returning Starters:

Nazalia Mendiola (Sophomore, S)

Cassidy Noordhoek (Junior, M)

Payten Bleich (Junior, D)

Aubrien Coleman (Senior, D)

Brooklyn Gould (Junior, D)

Elizabeth Estelle (Senior, GK)

Key Returners and Newcomers:

Katelyn Russell (Freshman, M)

Aleigha Villapondo (Freshman, M/S)

Aaliyah Pretty (Senior, D)

Audrie Letherby (Junior, M)

Emma Hillard (Senior, S)

Angelina Corrales (Freshman, M)

Edeline Fernandez (Freshman, M)

Rainy Calderon (Freshman, M/S)

Taylor Beerman (Sophomore, S)

Emily Santos (Junior, GK)

Emilee Seacrest (Freshman, D)

Jordan Hernandez (Senior, D)

Returning Stats Leaders from 2022:

Nazalia Mendiola 22 goals

Cassidy Noorhoek 2 goals, 4 assists

Payten Bleich 4 assists


It’ll be interesting to see the how the Cardinals adjust to play in the WMC. Having sophomore Nazaliza Mendiola, who deposited 22 goals last season, should help ease the transisiton.




Pete Peterson (8th season)

This Season:

5-6-0 overall; 1-3-0 WMC

Last Season:


Returning Starters:

Mya Ramos (Senior, GK)

Isabel Omness (Senior, D)

Desirae Melchor (Senior, D)

Biloxi Lee (Junior, D)

Aubrey Klotz (Senior, M)

Hannah Frees (Junior, M)

Briesda Brito (Senior, M)

Haydee Pedroza (Junior, F)

Kendall Zaverl (Junior, F)

Key Returners and Newcomers:

Gladys Mancada-Pineda (Senior, F)

America Cruz (Junior, M)

Alyse Erickson (Sophomore, M)

Brylee Friedman (Freshman, D)

Returning Stats Leaders from 2022:

Kendal Zaverl 20 goals

Haydee Pedroza 9 assists


Peterson said if the team can stay healthy, Shelby could finish about .500 for first time in a long time.




Adam Prince (2nd Season; 28th season in coaching)

This Season:

3-5-1 overall; 3-2-0 WMC

Last Season:

10-8-0 overall; 6-1-0 WMC, second place

Returning Starters:

Marissa Strandberg (Senior, D)

Avery Thomas (Senior, F)

Haley Morningstar (Senior, D)

Ava Garcia (Junior, M)

Bri Hamann (Senior, GK)

Ashley TenBrink (Senior, M)

Audrey Connors (Sophomore, D)

Allie Van Antwerp (Junior, D)

Top Newcomers:

Morgan Garcia (Freshman)

Abby Beerman (Junior)

Kate Beeda (Freshman)


Despite losing the program’s all-time leading scorer in Maggie Evans, the Vikings retuned a well-rounded and motivated group. However, the injury bug bit and they’re currently on a bit of a slide.

Whitehall keeper Bri Hamann prepares to stop a shot against Montague on Monday, May 1, 2023, in Montague, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

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