Portage launch site
Portage Northern High School
2007 Men's Soccer
Head Coach: Andy Fuehr
Junior Varsity Coach: Pat Tetrault
Varsity Assistant: David Groves
Goalie Coaches: Justin Rhodes, Erin Carlson, Ali Alamdari
Trainer: Julianna Gravlin
Portage Northern fell narrowly to Unity Christian by a score of 2-1 Tuesday
night in Plainwell. The Huskies led at halftime, 1-0, on sophomore Aaron Dewberrys
goal on a header off a throw-in by Kyle Martin, but the undefeated and No. 1
ranked Crusaders came back with goals in the 54th and 68th minutes. Mitch Kinner's
header off a corner kick just missed with 15 minutes remaining when the Unity
keeper caught the hard shot right on the edge of the goal line.
Unity Christian, which outshot Northern, 8-5, is a perennial power in Division II, advancing to the state semi-finals last year and bowing in the state championship game in 2005, 1-0. The Crusaders have outscored the opposition this season, 98-12. Northern finished its season 20-5, with 73 goals scored, giving up 27.
"We had a plan to score first and looked to keep the play even and that worked for quite a bit, but give credit to Unity and their full effort and skill that they showed throughout," Northern Coach Andy Fuehr said.
"As a coaching staff, we are so proud of the young men and how they played from start to finish of this season. The seniors should hold their heads high in their season's accomplishments.
"The sophomores and juniors were shown what it takes to lead by example, and I hope they look to come at the next year as an opportunity to get better and raise their level of play, strength, speed, and skill. To our seniors, you boys are a tremendous group that will be remembered for all that you have done to continue the Northern Husky Soccer Tradition."
Congratulations to our Huskies on a memorable season including 20 victories (12 in a row and undefeated in conference play) along with Conference & District titles. Thanks for making your parents and classmates proud all season long.
Link to WXMI Fox 17 highlight video mpg
Senior Brandon Suhr's goal with six minutes left in the game gave Portage Northern a 2-1 verdict over Mattawan Saturday night in the District championship match-up on Vicksburg High School's artificial surface, the Huskies' first district title since 2003.
The Huskies opened the scoring with 10 minutes left in the opening half when Kevin Kay's direct kick found Mitch Kinner on the right side and Kinner sent the ball towards the goal line, which Billy Cremeans put in for the 1-0 advantage. Northern only had one shot on goal in the first 30 minutes, but then the team got rolling with six shots on net over the next 10 minutes as the winners outshot Mattawan for the game, 12-5.
"I thought that we took a half to adjust to the surface, but held play in the second half," Northern Coach Andy Fuehr said. The Huskies carried the play through most of the second half, but found themselves in a tie when the Wildcats scored after being awarded a penalty kick at the 73:00 mark, but the determined Northern squad regained the lead a minute later on Suhr's game-winner.
The play originated when Collin Doud sent a corner kick into the box and after a couple deflections the ball came back towards the left corner and Doud trapped it, dribbled along the left goal line and served a perfect pass to Suhr, who made no mistake from six yards out. Suhr and fellow senior defenders Kyle Martin and Matt Blair usually race into the box on corner kicks to add to the offensive attack.
"To give up a PK and score a minute later showed great poise on the part of the boys," Fuehr said. "Many guys played with pain and it was a great win for the team to be proud of, and now it is time to focus on our next challenge."
That next challenge is Tuesday night against Hudsonville Unity Christian, the No. 1 ranked team in the state in Division II. Unity Christian is undefeated through 22 games with 21 wins and one tie. The tie was a 2-2 deadlock with East Kentwood, the Number One ranked team in the state in Division I.
Saturday's victory was Northern's third verdict over Mattawan this season, going along with 4-2 and 4-1 earlier scores. Tuesday's Regional contest is at Plainwell at 8:00 p.m. Other district winners advancing to the Plainwell Regional are Vicksburg and Mason. The Huskies, winners of 12 straight, are now 20-4.
The Portage Northern Huskies raced out to a 2-0 halftime lead and went on to beat Plainwell, 3-1, Thursday night to advance to the Division II, district final, which will be held Saturday (Oct. 20) at Vicksburg High School at 6:00.
Northern's excellent Senior group has scored the majority of the team's goals this season, but this night belong to the Juniors, at least in the goal-scoring department, as 11th graders Billy Cremeans, Casey Higgason and Heath Somers found the back of the net for the Huskies. The Huskies' win was their 11th straight and the team is now 19-4 on the season.
"We came out and scored early to set a good tone," Northern Coach Andy Fuehr said. "Being up 2-0 at half allowed us to attack from all over the field for the final 40 minutes. Our possesion and passing was much better, and we seemed to want to score by using everyone. We did a great job of marking and limited the number of chances that Plainwell had on goal."
In the 10th minute, Higgason sent a pass near midfield to Cremeans, who beat a defender, dribbled into the box and beat the keeper cleanly from 10 yards out. Eight minutes before the half, Somers dribbled down the right sideline and sent a long crossing pass towards the net that Higgason headed in for the 2-0 intermission lead.
In the 46th minute, Plainwell had a direct kick from 19 yards away that Husky keeper Jeremy Krueger saved to protect the two-goal advantage and four minutes later, Somers put in the rebound after a Kevin Kay shot to make it 3-0. Plainwell avoided the shutout by scoring on a penalty kick with two minutes left in the contest. The winners outshot the Plainwell squad, 13-8.
The Huskies will play the Mattawan Wildcats in the finals Saturday at VHS, with the district champion going on to the Plainwell Regional the following week.
The Huskies' Mitch Kinner scored on a penalty kick in the opening minute of the second half Monday night to give Portage Northern a 1-0 victory over Battle Creek Lakeview to open state tournament district play.
Northern, the SMAC champion and first place team in the league's Central bracket, defeated the Battle Creek squad, the East Division winner, earlier in the season, 5-3, in a crossover contest. This time it was much more of a defensive battle, although the host Huskies outshot the Spartans, 17-3.
The winners' Billy Cremeans was tripped in the left side of the penalty area, setting up Kinner's PK. The senior midfielder notched his 21st goal of the season by going left center, top shelf on the Spartan keeper, who guessed left, but couldn't stop the hard drive, which went just under the crossbar.
The Portage squad plays Plainwell Thursday, October 18th at 5:00 at Northern, with the winner of that game advancing to the district finals Saturday at 6:00. The Northern victory was keeper Jeremy Krueger's 8th shutout of the campaign and the team's 10th straight win. The Huskies, the third ranked team in the state in Division II, are now 18-4 on the season.
Huskies Are SMAC Champions
The soccer champions of the 16-team Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC) are the Portage Northern Huskies as a result of the team's two wins this past week in the conference tournament, 2-1, in the semi-finals over arch-rival Portage Central and 5-0 over St. Joseph in the championship game as Northern finished undefeated in conference play.
The decision over Portage Central was the Huskies' second one-goal victory of the season over the Mustangs, as the two teams continued their tradition of close, hard-fought contests. Heath Somers scored both Northern goals, opening the scoring in the fourth minute on an assist in the box from Kevin Kay, who received a long pass from Kyle Martin.
The 1-0 advantage held up for more than 60 minutes until the Mustangs tied it with a goal with 11 minutes remaining in the game. The Huskies then pressured the PC defense for the next several minutes, finally breaking through for the victory when Somers launched a rocket from 18 yards out with three minutes remaining. The winning tally involved four Northern players, which is typical of the teamwork the Huskies have displayed on their current winning streak, which now stands at nine.
Collin Doud sent a pass near the midfield area to Mitch Kinner, who dribbled to the 25-yard-line and delivered a pass to the left side of the penalty area to Casey Higgason. Higgason one-timed a perfect left-footed pass to Somers at the 18, who made no mistake, blasting a laser that Mustang keeper Ben Orchanian tried to react to with his left hand, but the shot was already past him, an inch or two under the crossbar and into the back of the net.
"It was great to get an early lead, and we held strong for most of the game," Northern Coach Andy Fuehr said. "The team responded well after giving up the goal and we responded well by getting the game winner. I would have liked to see more possession, but the emotion of the rivalry has a tendency to not allow that for either side."
Northern keeper Jeremy Krueger turned the Central shooters away 10 times as the Mustangs had 11 shots on goal to eight for the Northern. The Huskies have shown an ability and the poise to win close games. The team has now won five of six games this season that have been tied in the second half.
The Huskies dominated from start to finish in the championship game, outshooting St. Joseph, 21-5, including a 13-1 advantage in the second half. The Huskies led 3-0 at intermission, scoring a goal with 40 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
"We came out strong and getting 2 early goals gave us confidence to attack," Coach Fuehr explained. "The goal right before half, to make it 3-0, really was crucial for us in terms of holding strong in the second half. All players contributed, and I cannot be happier for the boys, especially our seniors."
The Huskies opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Sean Hurley sent a long pass to Kevin Kay on the left side and Kay eluded a defender, dribbled into the box and delivered a perfect pass to Casey Higgason, who beat the keeper cleanly. The Northern attackers kept relentless pressure on the Bears and Higgason just missed in the ninth minute, hitting the crossbar.
Thirty seconds later Mitch Kinner scored his 20th goal of the year to make it 2-0, cleaning up the rebound after a Heath Somers' shot. Kinner's shot from 15 yards out went just under the crossbar. With less than a minute to play in the first half, Sean Hurley passed the ball ahead on the right side to Casey Higgason, who turned the corner and served the ball at a difficult angle to Cody Cattell, who beat the keeper for the 3-0 halftime lead.
Heath Somers and An Nguyen scored in the second half to close the scoring. Jake McKenney's pass hit Kevin Kay and after a save by the St. Joseph keeper, Somers put in the rebound for his fifth goal in the last three games. With 13 minutes remaining, Nguyen scored his second goal in the last three games, with Kevin Branham collecting the assist.
"Now the focus turns to districts, where we have a tough Lakeview team ahead of us," Fuehr said. "We gave up the most goals of the year to them, and we need to have a total team efffort to be successful."
The Huskies host an eight-team Division II District, beginning Monday, October 15. Northern plays Battle Creek Lakeview Monday at 5:00, with the winner going on to play Thursday vs. the Allegan-Plainwell winner. The District final is Saturday at 6:00 p.m., with the district winner going on to the Regionals the following week at Plainwell. The 17-4 Huskies defeated Lakeview earlier in the season, 5-3.
The Portage Northern Huskies now have a seven-game winning streak after wins over Mattawan and Marshall last week, upping their record to 15-4 and securing the No. 1 seed in the SMAC Conference Tournament.
The team faced Mattawan, first place team in the SMAC's West Division, on October 2 in a crossover game and the Portage squad defeated the Wildcats, 4-1, the Huskies' second win over Mattawan this season, both on enemy turf.
The Huskies struck first on a corner kick in the 23rd minute. Kevin Kay took the kick and the ball found Mitch Kinner, who headed it into the net for the 1-0 lead, which was the opening half's only score. Five minutes later, the Wildcats' were awarded a penalty kick, but they could not convert as the kick went over the net for a Husky goal kick.
When Northern's Kyle Martin, the team's best long kicker and throw-in expert, went out because of an ankle injury, the Huskies' needed someone to step up and senior midfielder Collin Doud answered the call with a three-goal hat trick, with all three scores coming in the second half.
"This was the most physical game of the year and I thought we played well enough to keep it at 0-0, and after scoring a goal on a corner kick, we settled in and played much better," Husky Coach Andy Fuehr said. "Then Collin Doud had some great finishes to put the game away."
Dowd took a shot from 23 yards out in the 45th minute and it hit the post and stayed in for a 2-0 Husky lead. In the 54th minute, Dowd had the ball in the left corner and served a perfect pass into the box. Heath Somers' header went just inches over the cross bar for a near miss, but Doud, a three-year varsity performer, was not to be denied for long, as he scored on an 18-yarder a minute later, faking to the right and then shooting left.
In the 61st minute, Jake McKenney had the ball near midfield and hit Matt Blair with a pass near the left sideline. The hustling Blair saved the ball from going out and sent an excellent long pass near the 18-yard line to Dowd, who beat the keeper cleanly with a kick on the ground, to up the Northern advantage to 4-0.
Northern keeper, Jeremy Krueger, made two excellent saves in the last 10 minutes as the Wildcats were desperate to get on the board. Finally, with three minutes remaining, Mattatwan scored on a direct kick for the final 4-1 margin. The Huskies outshot the Wildcats, 12-7.
On October 4th, the Huskies hosted Marshall to open play in the conference tournament. Northern's win over Mattawan two days earlier ensured the Huskies of home-field advantage for all three games in the tournament. Marshall fought the Huskies to a scoreless tie for the first 22 minutes, but the Huskies eventually got rolling and went on to a 7-0 victory, goalie Jeremy Krueger's sixth shutout of the season.
"The Redhawks came out and played a great first 20 minutes and we matched them in play, and our defense locked up their forwards," Coach Fuehr said. "Getting 3 goals before half allowed us to move the ball and attack all over the field. All the boys got in and kept up a quality level of play, which is nice to see."
In the 23rd minute, Kevin Kay dribbled to the 25-yard line and sent a pass to Mitch Kinner, who re-directed it into the back of the net from 15 yards out to open the scoring. Four minutes later, Kay beat the Redhawks' goalie to the ball near the left corner and he lofted it into the goal for a 2-0 lead. Billy Cremeans sent a perfect through ball to Heath Somers in the 37th minute, which enabled Somers to go one-on-one with the keeper, and Somers beat the Redhawk goalie cleanly for a 3-0 lead.
In the second half, the Huskies continued their offensive onslaught. Kevin Branham, from midfield, found Kay with a pass on the right side in the third minute after intermission. Kay beat a defender and then the keeper for a 4-0 Northern lead. In the 48th minute, Somers recorded his second tally from close range on another assist from Cremeans.
Marshall's best chance came in the 66th minute when a Redhawk forward broke in on the goal, but Krueger got a piece of it and turned him away. Seven minutes later, Krueger sent a long punt down towards the Marshall penalty area and sophomore forward Aaron Dewberry beat the keeper to the ball and found the back of the net, with the assist going to the Northern keeper.
Northern's An Nguyen closed the scoring in the 75th minute when he beat a Redhawk defender and he made no mistake on the shot, launching a laser from 12 yards away. The winners outshot Marshall, 16-4. The Huskies will now play rival Portage Central in the conference semi-finals on Tuesday, October 9th. The winner will play for the championship on October 11th.
The Huskies, who have scored 59 goals and given up 22 for the season, host a Division 2 district in state tournament play the week of October 15th. The team will play Battle Creek Lakeview on October 15th at 5:00, with the winner moving on to play again on Thursday. Other schools in the district are Allegan, Harper Creek, Comstock, Mattawan, Plainwell and Gull Lake
The Portage Northern Huskies won both of its games the week of September 24, highlighted by a 5-0 shutout of Hastings on September 27th, Senior Night, the team's fifth straight triumph.
Northern has seven seniors and all of them started and played well against Hastings. Mitch Kinner and Kevin Kay resumed their red-hot goal scoring pace, notching two apiece against the Saxons. Kyle Martin, Matt Blair and Brandon Suhr continued their stellar defensive play and strong passing game. Collin Doud and Ryan McClish both served a number of excellent balls from the midfield area, which created a lot of good scoring opportunities for the Huskies, who outshot the visitors, 15-2. Martin, Suhr and Dowd also had assists in the lightning-shortened contest, which was called during the 54th minute because of the approaching bad weather.
"You always want a win on senior night and I thought our entire senior group came out ready to play and got us on the board early and often," Coach Andy Fuehr commented. "All players contributed to the win, and that is the most satisfying part of the night. Congrats go out to our seniors!"
The Huskies opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Martin's pass found Kay, who dribbled into the box and beat the Saxon keeper cleanly. Two minutes later, Casey Higgason dribbled up the left sideline and crossed the ball into the penalty area to Kay, who connected for the second time in two minutes.
The Huskies scored off a corner kick in the 17th minute to make it 3-0. Billy Cremeans' kick found Suhr, whose header was saved by the goalie, but Kinner's head found the rebound, which went into the back of the net. In the 24th minute, a Hastings defender kicked the ball back to the keeper, who caught it, resulting in an indirect kick for the Huskies. After a Husky touch on the ball, Kevin Branham scored his first goal of the year when he made no mistake with his 15-yard blast.
In the fourth minute of the shortened second half, the Saxon goalie came far out of the penalty area to make a play on the ball and Kinner made him pay, lofting a 40-yard shot into the abandoned net. Kinner now has 10 goals in his last five games, while Kay has tallied six times in the last four games to form a formidable one-two punch for the Huskies, who are now 13-4 on the season, have won 10 of their last 11 games, and are now ranked Number 5 in the State in Division Two.
On September 25th, the Huskies, the first place team in the Central Division of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC), played a crossover game with the first-place squad in the East, Battle Creek Lakeview, and the Huskies prevailed, 5-3, led by senior Mitch Kinner's four goals.
The Huskies led 2-0 midway through the first half on a pair of Kinner goals, with assists from Kevin Kay and Billy Cremeans, and were dominating play when play was stopped for 30 minutes because of lightning and threatening weather. When play resumed, the Spartans came out with renewed energy and closed the gap to 2-1 at halftime with a goal in the 25th minute.
"We came out strong in the first half and had two quality finishes off of crosses," Coach Fuehr said. "The weather delay caused us to lose focus and we gave up a goal and had to regain our momentum in the first half. We finished some quality chances in the second half, but still managed to give up goals that we have not been giving up of late. Overall, not a bad win considering the weather circumstances."
At the 48:00 minute mark, with Northern still clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Spartans stormed the net and almost tied it, but Husky keeper Jeremy Krueger turned them away with a big save. In the 60th minute, Casey Higgason made a perfect pass to Jake McKenney, who hit Billy Cremeans, who beat the keeper for a 3-1 Husky lead. The Spartans wouldn't go away, however, scoring on a penalty kick four minutes later to close to 3-2.
In the 27th minute of the second half, Kay let go a rocket shot from 30 yards out which hit the crossbar and Kinner cleaned up the rebound for a 4-2 lead. Kinner's goal from the right side at the 68:00 minute mark upped the margin to 5-2 as Kay stormed the left side goal line in case of a rebound. Lakeview scored with 10 minutes left off a direct kick rebound to close the scoring. The Huskies outshot the Spartans, 18-6.
The Huskies visit the first-place team in the West Division, Mattawan, on October 2, and a Northern victory would assure a No. 1 seed in the SMAC tournament, which begins on October 4. The top conference seed means all home games for the three contests in the SMAC Tournament. The No. 1 seed plays the No. 8 seed in the first round. Earlier in the season, the Huskies defeated Mattawan, 4-2.
Northern Varsity Soccer Team Wins East Lansing Invitational
The winning trophy at the East Lansing Soccer Invitational went to Portage Northern on Saturday, Sept. 22, as the Huskies routed Lowell, 8-0, and defeated Caledonia in the championship game, 2-0.
"The Lowell game was our best of the year, we beat a solid Division One opponent and we were finishing," Coach Andy Fuehr explained on his team's one-sided win, which included a season-high eight goals.
Mitch Kinner opened the scoring in the 12th minute for the Huskies after Heath Somers hit Kevin Kay with a pass and Kay found Kinner. Nine minutes later, Kay dribbled on the left side near the goal line and ripped a tough angle shot that found the back of the net. The score was 2-0 at intermission and Lowell played the Huskies fairly evenly in the first half, registering seven shots on goal to eight for the Huskies.
The second half was all Huskies with the winners holding a 9-1 shots advantage and a 6-0 scoring margin. Nine minutes into the second stanza, Casey Higgason scored from eight yards out on the left side after a pass from Kay. Kay continued the onslaught in the next five minutes, finding Somers for a header that made it 4-0 and then scoring himself on a penalty kick. Kay totaled two goals and three assists for the contest.
At the 72:00 minute mark, Aaron Dewberry leaped high in the air for the ball from 15 yards and the result was the sophomore winger's first goal of the season. Midfielder Jake McKinney scored two goals in the next six minutes to close the scoring. On his first score, his hard strike hit the post and went in and he followed that with a left-footed shot from 12 yards out that beat the Lowell keeper.
The East Lansing event usually has at least a couple of state ranked teams entered and this year was no exception as Caledonia and East Lansing were both rated in the Top Ten in Division Two. When Caledonia upset East Lansing, 1-0, that set up the championship game between the Huskies and the Fighting Scots.
"We dominated the whole game, but had trouble finishing," Coach Fuehr said. "I think the Caledonia team was a little tired from its tough game with East Lansing. That was a huge win for them."
The Huskies had a 14-1 shots on goal advantage and scored a goal in each half for the winning 2-0 margin, both scored by Kevin Kay, as the senior striker continued his hot day. In the seventh minute, Billy Cremeans took a direct kick which resulted in a shot by Kyle Martin. Heath Somers redirected the rebound to Kay, who made no mistake with a 15-yard laser.
Two minutes after halftime, defender Brandon Suhr sent a long pass to Kay, who beat the defender into the box and scored with his left foot from 9 yards out. Northern keeper Jeremy Krueger notched his third and fourth shutouts of the season as the excellent play of defenders Kyle Martin, Matt Blair, Sean Hurley and Brandon Suhr made sure there were not many shots taken on the junior goalie.
The Huskies were 3-0 for the week, upping their season's record to 11-4. The team defeated Battle Creek Central, 4-1, on September 18. The Huskies, previously unranked, are now rated the No. 5 team in the State in Division 2 in the latest rankings.
Mitch Kinner recorded a three-goal hat trick in the Battle Creek contest, opening the scoring from six yards out at 8:21 on a pass in the box from Billy Cremeans. At the 28:00 minute mark, the Bearcats tied it, scoring off a rebound after hitting the crossbar. Thirty seconds later, the Huskies took the lead for good when Kinner scored, on another assist from Cremeans.
Kinner's third goal of the half came at the 38:00 minute mark on an assist from Kevin Kay. The opening stanza ended, 3-1, with the Huskies enjoying a 13-4 shot advantage. The only goal after intermission was scored at the 56:00 minute mark on a Brandon Suhr header after a Collin Doud corner kick. The Huskies outshot the Bearcats, 11-0, in the second half for a game advantage of 24-4.
The week of September 24, the Huskies play Battle Creek Lakeview and Hasting. The following week, they play a Crossover game vs. a West opponent on October 2 and on October 4 they begin play in the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference tournament.
The Huskies of Portage Northern defeated the Portage Central Mustangs last week, 1-0, in another tense, tight game between the two rivals as the Northern varsity squad took control of first place in Conference play in a week in which the team won two and lost one and now is 8-4 on the season.
Mitch Kinner continued his game-winning heroics when he scored four minutes into the second half, stealing the ball at midfield, dribbling into the box and splitting two Mustang defenders as his well-placed shot eluded the left hand of keeper Ben Orchanian. It was the fifth game-winner of the season for the senior midfielder.
Kinner had the best chance in an evenly played first half, but Orchanian made an outstanding save on his 18-yard blast, knocking it over the net. The Huskies carried the play in the second half. Three minutes after Kinner's goal, Northern's Casey Higgason came close, hitting the crossbar, followed by a narrow miss by Kinner when he and Orchanian collided in the air as both desperately went up for the ball.
The Huskies outshot the Mustangs, 12-5, as the outstanding efforts of the Northern defense limited the Mustangs to few good chances. Keeper Jeremy Krueger recorded his second shutout of the season and recorded an outstanding save in the final minute, just knocking away a hard shot from the right side.
The two teams always seem to have tight games, with shoot-outs and overtime battles settling a number of the contests. The two previous years, Northern has defeated Central in overtime early in the season, only to have the Mustangs prevail later in the season. The spirited, but friendly rivals could see each other again in the conference tournament.
Northern followed the PC victory with a 3-1 win over Kalamazoo Central to remain undefeated in the Central Division of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference. Junior Billy Cremeans scored a pair of goals and sophomore Cody Cattell added one as the Huskies ran out to a 3-0 halftime advantage. The Maroon Giants scored a late goal in the second half on a 30-yard shot to avoid the shutout.
Cremeans took a pass from Heath Somers 35 seconds into the game to open the scoring. The next two goals involved three players in excellent passing and finishing plays. At the 22:00 minute mark, Sean Hurley dribbled up the right side, switched the ball to the opposite side to Casey Higgason, who delivered it into the box to Cremeans, who beat the goalie cleanly for his second tally of the contest.
Two minutes later, Higgason served the ball into the box to Collin Doud in the penalty area. Doud slid the ball over to Cattell, who beat the keeper cleanly to make it 3-0. Northern had a 16-5 shots on goal advantage, including a 9-2 edge in the opening half.
On Saturday, September 15, the Huskies completed their week, traveling to the Grand Rapids area to face East Kentwood, the top-rated team in the state. The undefeated Falcons prevailed, 3-0, in this non-league affair, snapping the Huskies five-game winning streak.
Northern played East Kentwood even in the scoreless opening half, but the Falcons scored three times in the first 20 minutes of the second half and showed why they are Michigan's No. 1 ranked team. East Kentwood outshot Northern, 12-9, but the home team also had numerous other dangerous chances that went just wide or over the top of the net.
The Huskies play Battle Creek Central on September 18 in a conference match-up and Saturday they have two games in the East Lansing Invitational. They play Lowell in the opener at 11:30 and at 2:30 play either Caledonia or East Lansing, both of which are ranked in the top ten in the state in Division II.
September 13, 2007. Rebounding off of a tough 2-0 loss to Portage Central JV earlier in the week, the PNHS Huskies dominated the Kalamazoo Central JV Giants, winning the game 4-1. The Kalamazoo Giants scored first, but Travis Kindig's equalizing goal in the last minute of the first half gave the Huskies new life. Mac Eckstrand scored just 2 minutes into the second half and from that point, the outcome was never in doubt. Colin Greichunos scored in the 15th minute of the second half and Connor Krebill rounded out the scoring late in the game on a rocket shot off a Penalty Kick. The Huskies looked very strong outshooting the Giants 22 to 4.
September 15, 2007. "It was the best of games - it was the worst of games". The PNHS JV Huskies took their show on the road to East Kentwood for a Saturday afternoon game. East Kentwood opened the scoring just 7 minutes into the game on a rebound from a great Alex Gray stop. The first half ended with Kentwood leading 1-0. In the second half, the Huskies were often all over East Kentwood, but time and again were turned away by fantastic goal keeping. Three separate headers off of beautiful crosses were turned away by diving stops by the keeper. East Kentwood went up 2-0, eleven minutes into the second half. Colin Greichunos continued his inspired play - scoring his team leading 5th goal at the 19th minute mark of the second half to draw the Huskies close, but despite taking the play to EK for the majority of the second half, the score ended 2-1. The Huskies looked very strong in this game - outshooting East Kentwood 11 to 7, and deserved a better outcome.
The Northern Varsity Soccer team won all three of its games for the week of September 4 to increase its record for the 2007 season to 6-3.
On the first day of school, Sept. 4, the Huskies welcomed South Haven to the Northern complex and the Rams, rated the No. 2 team in the state in Division III, found the Northern team to be a rude host in the first half as the home squad raced to a 2-0 intermission lead, ringing up an 11-3 shots on goal advantage in the opening stanza.
In the game's ninth minute, Northern's Kevin Kay dribbled the ball around the left corner and proceeded along the goal line before delivering a perfect ball in the box to Heath Somers. Somers beat the Ram keeper for a 1-0 Northern lead. Midway through the half, Billy Cremean's goal made it 2-0 and it looked like the Huskies would be on their way to an easy victory.
The Rams, however, had other ideas and they stepped up their play in the second half, registering six shots on goal to seven for Northern. South Haven scored at the four minute mark of the second period and then tied the game at 2-2 off a direct kick at the 18:00 mark. Both teams had some chances the rest of the half, but both keepers stood tall, so the game went into sudden death overtime.
The Huskies dominated the overtime, outshooting the Rams, 3-0. Less than 10 minutes into the extra period, Billy Cremeans took a corner kick from the right side and Mitch Kinner won the ball, hit it with his left foot and found the back of the net on the short side for the 3-2 victory. Kinner's game winner was his second within a week, as his goal with two minutes left decided the West Ottawa game the previous week.
Two days later, Northern traveled to Mattawan and resisted a 4-2 victory in a game that followed a similar pattern to the South Haven contest, with the Huskies dominating early only to let the opposition back into it.
Kyle Martin opened the scoring for Northern when his 30-yard shot went inside the right post at the 9:49 mark of the opening half. Mitch Kinner made it 2-0 six minutes later when he connected from just outside the 18-yard line on the left side. Martin's long kicks from the Northern end kept the Wildcats at bay and limited their chances. Mattawan, however, tightened things up, closing to 2-1 on a long shot that found the back of the net. The score remained 2-1 at the half.
Fifteen minutes after intermission, Casey Higgason won the ball from a defender on the right side, hustled around the right corner and sent the ball to Kinner, who made no mistake with it, upping the Huskies' advantage to 3-1. The Wildcats, however, wouldn't go away and they closed to 3-2 five minutes later, scoring off a direct kick.
The Huskies put it away at the 27:00 minute mark when Kevin Kay beat the Wildcat keeper with a header, connecting off a long pass from the right side from Collin Doud. Kay has now scored a goal in five of the Huskies' nine games. The Huskies outshot Mattawan, 19-11.
The Huskies hosted the Vicksburg Bulldogs on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on September 8 and the home squad came away with a 2-1 win in an evenly played game. Vicksburg outshot Northern, 13-12.
In the fifteenth minute of the first half, defender Sean Hurley hit Casey Higgason with a pass near midfield. Higgason beat his defender down the sideline, turned the corner and struck a laser shot as he approached the net that beat the keeper cleanly. It was the only goal of the opening period. A minute later, the Bulldogs stormed the Northern goal, with keeper Jeremy Krueger making two consecutive saves and one ball hitting the crossbar.
Jon Cannell of Vicksburg tied the score at 1-1 at the 12:00 minute mark of the second half as he broke free in the box. Cannell almost gave the Bulldogs the lead two minutes later as he charged the goal with another chance, but Krueger stoned him at close range.
With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Huskie defender Matt Blair dribbled up the left side and served a long pass into the box. Mitch Kinner outleaped a taller defender for the ball and headed it into the net for the final 2-1 margin. It was Kinner's fourth game winning goal of the season, with three of them coming late in games.
The Huskies have two conference games scheduled for the week of September 10 - against Portage Central and Kalamazoo Central. They finish their week on Saturday, September 15, when they travel to the Grand Rapids area to face East Kentwood, the Number One Ranked team in the State in Division I.
A rare Saturday morning contest pitted the Portage Northern High School Junior Varsity team against the nearby Vicksburg Bulldogs. A very even game ensued with the teams each having nine shots and ending in a 1-1 draw. PNHS JV took the lead at the 23rd minute of the first half on Gagan Singh's first goal of the season, off a goal mouth scramble. Vicksburg came out fast and furious to start the second half and scored a quick goal to tie the game. The fans were treated to a very entertaining second half with no further scoring. Coach Tetrault's comments after the game: "Another good performance against a tough opponent. We need to score a few more goals so we can win some of these close games, though."
On a warm, beautiful evening at the friendly confines of the Portage Northern Soccer Complex, the Portage Northern High School Junior Varsity dominated the South Haven Rams JV team to a score of 3-0, out shooting the Rams 14 - 4. The JV Huskies opened strong and with a PK goal by Mac Eckstrand, then with Chris Becjek's second goal of the season. The first half ended with Huskies holding a 2-0 lead. Coach Tetrault's was happy with the boy's play "The team played with a lot of energy tonight, and really earned their first win of the season." Colin Greichunos scored his 2nd goal of the year in the second half to pull the Huskies ahead 3-0. Alex Gray and Matt Ragotzy combined for a shutout, with Matt making several key saves late in the game.
The Portage Northern varsity soccer team won two games and lost one for the week of August 27-30 to up its record for the season to 3-3.
The Huskies began Conference play with a 3-0 victory over Loy Norrix, with the winners accumulating 20 shots on goal to 6 for the Knights. Northern opened up a 2-0 halftime lead and dominated play throughout.
Three minutes into the game, Billy Cremeans received a pass near midfield from Mitch Kinner, dribbled past two defenders down the left sideline and beat the Loy Norrix keeper cleanly from 10 yards out. Kinner then found the back of the net at the 26:00 minute mark after receiving a long pass from Kyle Martin to make it 2-0.
Kevin Kay scored on a 30-yard left-footed strike two minutes into the second stanza for the final 3-0 margin. It was Kay's second 30-yard goal of the season, both kicked with his left foot. It was also his third goal in three games. Kinner and Kay both hit the post on shots later in the half as the Huskies kept the pressure on.
"We played great possession soccer and were able to create many good scoring opportunities," Northern coach Andy Fuehr said. "Defensively we limited chances and started the offensive play out of the back. We had 3 different scorers, so that shows that the wealth was being spread out."
The next day, the Huskies hosted a strong Holland West Ottawa squad and the result was the most exciting game of the young season, a 2-1 comeback win for the Portage team. The Panthers scored on a long-range blast in the first half for a 1-0 intermission advantage. West Ottawa outshot the Huskies 15-6 for the game and dominated first half action.
Northern keeper Jeremy Krueger's 14 saves kept the Huskies close. The score remained 1-0 until 10 minutes were left in the contest when the Huskies' two leading scorers, Kinner and Kay, went to work. Kinner penetrated into the box near the six-yard line on the right side and slid a pass back to Kay who made no mistake, tying the score at 1-1. Kinner's goal with two minutes remaining gave Northern the 2-1 victory.
"After giving up an early long range goal we locked down defensively and stayed with a very big and skilled West Ottawa team," Coach Fuehr explained. "By scoring 2 goals in the final 10 minutes we showed great resolve and a willingness to play to the final whistle. It was a great win and indicator of our potential."
On August 30, the Huskies finished their busy week, traveling to the Lansing area to face a very talented Okemos squad. The Huskies, playing their third game in four days, fell, 3-0, and were outshot, 18-6. The home team, Division I State Champion in 2004, scored on two headers in the first half and added an insurance goal after intermission.
"We came out a bit sluggish and looked like a team that had played 6 games in 5 days," Coach Fuehr explained. "Our second half effort was much better and we created some quality chances on net. Having a few days off will allow us to rest up and take on some quality opponents in the upcoming weeks."
The Portage Northern varsity soccer team opened its season by winning one of three games at the Portage Invitational tournament, defeating Gull Lake, 5-1, and suffering a pair of one-goal losses.
The Huskies opened with Forest Hills Central in a game played in a steady rain. The Huskies gave up a goal late in the first half in the defense-minded contest as neither team had many shots on goal. In the latter part of the second half, the Huskies Bill Cremeans, Matt Blair, Mitch Kinner and Kevin Kay each came close to scoring, with their shots going just wide or over the top of the net. The Forest Hills squad held on for the 1-0 victory.
Playing in a rainstorm slowed our possession play and we took awhile to adjust to the conditions, Northern Coach Andy Fuehr explained. Forest Hills Central played a very defensive game and we were limited to a few quality chances and they finished their opportunity.
As the weather improved for the second game, so did the Huskies play. Kyle Martin opened the scoring for Northern four minutes into the contest, connecting on a header off a Billy Cremeans corner kick. Two minutes before intermission, Collin Greichunos took a pass from Casey Higgason and beat the Gull Lake goalie cleanly for a 2-0 halftime lead.
In the opening minute of the second half, Kevin Kay connected for the Huskies on a 30-yard left-footed blast. Ten minutes later, Casey Higgason headed in a Heath Somers cross for a 4-0 Northern advantage. Ian Taylor made it 5-0 two minutes later, putting in a rebound after a Cremeans direct kick.
Gull Lake stormed the Huskies net in the final 30 seconds and had three consecutive shots on goal. Northern keeper Jeremy Krueger stopped the first two shots, but the third one found the back of the net for the final 5-1 score.
Gull Lake came out and worked hard, but our boys matched their intensity, Coach Fuehr said. We put away a corner kick and a couple of crosses to build a good lead. Kevin Kays goal from 30 yards out was a well struck ball. We had five different goal scorers in a 5-1 win so that tells you we are playing some team soccer.
In the final game, played under sunny skies, Northern had 17 shots on goal to 6 for Grand Haven, but the Portage squad fell, 2-1, despite having the better of the play for the majority of the contest.
We came out and dominated play for the first 20 minutes, but didnt find the back of the net, Coach Fuehr explained. After going down 2-0 in the second half we responded with a goal and put pressure on for the equalizer, but ran out of time. We lost our mental discipline in the second half, and that was the difference.
Grand Haven scored twice in the first four minutes of the second half, both off direct kick opportunities. Kevin Kay made it 2-1 at the 18:00 minute mark, converting a pass from Billy Cremeans.
We played 3 quality teams and we had some young players step into significant roles for us, Fuehr said. At times, we looked great, but we need to work on finishing our chances, and defending better as a team.
Thanks to all the PN Alumni who participated
in the Alumni games
Visit the Alumni Game Page for more information
To see players who signed up, click the links to the right:     men     women
Note: Photos of the Alumni Game Aug 21 have been added (click here).
Thanks to Chris Hurley for writing the varsity game summaries , and Garnet Eckstrand for writing the JV summaries for those of us who can't come to every game.
To print preseason info on a well-formatted one-page document, click here and then print.
Fitness & Skill Goals
Players need to be working out on their own to increase their fitness and skill levels. Running long distance and sprints will help, along with juggling, dribbling, and passing. By putting in the work on your own, along with the summer workouts, you will come in ready to play at a high level. Check out the handy training calendar for July and August.
|TEAM RULES||TEAM GOALS|
|1. HAVE FUN||1. Division Champs|
|2. No excuses||2. League Tournament Champs|
|3. No regrets||3. District Champs|
|4. Play your hardest at all times||4. Regional Champs|
|5. Put the team before yourself||5. STATE CHAMPS!|
Remember Meijer Rewards for PNHS Soccer: www.meijer.com/rewards (code# 530394)
Check out the list of Postseason Honors from the last season.
Officers for Fall 2007-
Boosters Meeting Schedule and Minutes-
The boosters meet at 7:00 p.m. in the PN Media Center or the Staff Lounge or the Cafeteria on days to be determined. To see minutes of meetings already held, go to the Boosters Page.