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Portage Northern High School
2010 Women's Soccer
Head Coach: Andy Fuehr
Junior Varsity Coach: Pat Tetreault
Varsity Assistants: Justin Rhodes & Erin Carlson
Junior Varsity Assistants: Ryan Johnson & Scott Perryman
Trainers: Andy Lawrence & Bobby Echols

LATEST NEWS (Updated 7-June-2010)
Note- click reload or refresh to make sure it's current; rely on your coach for the latest news.


SMAC Finalists

It was a season that ended sooner than hoped for, yet it was a season of incredible soccer that family and friends are very proud of the team for. The Huskies played very well indeed, and didn't lose to any team that wasn't ranked in the top five in the state. Thank you players and coaches for treating family and friends to excellent soccer all season long; thanks for the memories! Thanks also to Ed Stinson for writing game summaries after each game. Re-live the excitement by reading the game summaries below. For additional photos not shown below, go to the photoshare page.

Season Ends at District Opener - 01.June.2010

The state tournament, win or go home, no seeding, just the luck of the draw. And perhaps it was just not good luck to draw one of the best teams in the state for the first game of districts, but that is what Portage CENTRAL had to deal with.

Yes, the Mustangs sit on top of the polls, but they drew the Huskies for the opening round and perhaps what could be their toughest challenge of the tournament came down to the final five seconds.

"If only"…how many times did this come up in the post game recap? There were a slew of opportunities, most coming in a frenzied final 8 minutes. But let's back up first. The Mustangs scored with ten minutes left in the first half off their specialty, a corner kick. But although PC possessed the ball perhaps 75% of the first half, that was their only tally, and the half ended PC 1 - PN 0.

Northern looked a little groggy near the end of the first half, but unlike their last two meetings with PC this year, the Huskies rose up to control much of the second half. Central did score a second goal with just under nine minutes left in the game to make it 2-0, but that is when Northern cranked up the passion. Cassie VanderSloot headed a corner off the post. Then with five minutes left, Sam Kay fired in a goal. Northern pushed for the equalizer, and got a corner kick with 20 seconds left. The ball bounded out to Erika Jansen with just over ten seconds left, and Erika hit a beautiful low shot that bounded off the post and into about eight Mustangs and Huskies five feet from glory. It looked like the NFL recovering a fumble. Where is the ball?? It skirted out and was knocked out of the goal mouth with seconds remaining, leaving the Huskies a goal short, 1-2.

Northern fans cheered their way through the exhausting ending, cheered and clapped continuously as the Mustangs mustered up a celebration, through the teams shaking hands, and through the Huskies tearful jog toward their home fans. This was one of the proudest moments a loss could generate. It's painful to think "what if", but to watch your team dig deep and come from behind and come within inches and seconds of moving on to who knows where in the state tournament…perhaps the hardest part is having to wait for nine months to get it started again.

Now if you're still with me, you must be a Northern fan and may need just a few final thoughts to wrap up the year, or in some cases, a career. Here is a toast to many:

Congrats: to Morgan Muchez and Maggie Woolley for being up on varsity for districts.

Katie Sorensen, Karli Fisher, Nicole Berry, Shelby Adams, Hannah Scafaria…you are an exciting group of players who have contributed to this team's success in a huge way, and you are the future base of a team that will pull off some BIG victories. Ladies, I'm talking BIG.

Casey Shauman: If you can improve on your speed next year, nobody will see you
Breanne Bye: If you were cocky, you could really be cocky
Erin Prior: Two more years of your skillful toughness is a very good thing
Danielle Melgar: Your green shoes mean just one thing…versatility (that really makes no sense, but you are a great player at both ends of the field)
Lauren Barlow: An unsung hero, working hard in practice to make the team more competitive, shining on D when given the opportunity
Chelsea Carpentier: practice or games, you give 100%, always
Josie Huss: you have great passion for soccer and the team

Sidney Block: you saved your best for last, a great game in goal, and simply grand improvement over the year.
Sam Kay: in your land of hustle, you often find the grass, the dirt, and thankfully, the NET.
Laura Glass: you're a three-sport star, and a shining star in the life of many
Jenna Long: you accepted the goalie challenge for the good of the team, and the team is grateful

Cassie VanderSloot: Your leadership, toughness, headers, scrappiness, and smile will all be missed tremendously.
Natalie McClish: You guarded the best, with fearlessness. Even though you are a defender, you scored the goal that got the championship DVD started.
Erika Jansen: You became a top notch player even with a bum knee, and became a weapon all over the field.
Anna Stinson: You are the very best I have ever known. And you're not too bad of a soccer player either.

OK, now if you are still with me, you must be a Huskie senior parent who is unable to work the day after a big rivalry loss, or unable to function whatsoever due to the end of a long run of great high school soccer, so let's have a final wrap.

The last four seasons of the women's game have been graced with:

Teams loaded with friendship and respect, from seniors to freshmen, without exception.
Sixty-eight victories.
Huge wins over teams like Portage Central, Forest Hills Central, E Kentwood, Plainwell, with trips to the regional finals twice and semi finals once.
Chez Huskie
Al and Tom
One championship DVD

Thanks Huskie soccer!

A serious TEAM Huddle at the beginning of the second half in which the Huskies outplayed the Mustangs
Sidney saw lots of action and made all kinds of saves to keep the Huskies in the game
Hannah pivots away from pressure
Sid makes another save
Bre was solid on D
Erika drives upfield under pressure
Andy studies the situation
Natalie chooses her spot
Laura explodes toward the free kick
Hannah lands before her opponent
Erika surveys the field for lanes


The following nine pictures taken by Denny Sorensen (and available on Facebook) chronicle the last 7 seconds-

After the corner kick was kept alive by several Huskies in the box, it rolled outside the 18 where Erika ran
on to it and drove a line drive around and through all the players and into the post, where it bounced back out.
As usual, Cassie's in the middle of things for the rebound, with others not far away
The way some fans in blue complained about the obstruction call earlier, it's a good thing they didn't get called for dangerous play (in the box) for trying to clear the ball away from Bre and Nicole while on the ground.
Hannah prepares to get off a quick shot...
but Lindsay Shafer made the play of the game for the Mustangs
and with just 2 seconds remaining the ball was cleared wide.

SMAC Title goes to PC - 26.May.2010

JV: The JV team lost their final game of the season to Portage Central, but finish with an 11-7-1 season. PC's varsity is stacked with nearly all juniors and seniors, so the frosh and sophs primarily reside on the JV team. PN junior varsity has 12 of its "classmates" up on the Huskie varsity, so losing to a fine soccer program needs to be put in perspective. Even though the Huskies were down, they played tough to the end, looking strong and actually "winning" the last seven minutes of action 1-0. It was fun to watch this team…when they were on, they looked very impressive. Coach Pat plays everyone and develops players for the varsity, and wins are a side product to development. Some of these players will be making immediate impact on the varsity next year.

Thank for your great effort, winning season, and tough play with good sportsmanship. Way to go JV.

VARSITY: Perhaps thanks to exams, the student portion of the crowd at the big rivalry game for the conference title was toned down somewhat. But the normal soccer parents were there in droves. Some people tried to beat the heat and arrive about eight seconds late. But for those who did arrive eight seconds late, they missed the first Huskie goal. Off the midfield start, the Huskies moved the ball toward the Mustang goal and Hannah Scafaria rammed in the goal with eight ticks gone. The goal was a great confidence builder, but dang it…79 minutes and 52 seconds remaining.

PC tied the contest at the 12 minute mark. But Northern did not go away, and took advantage of another opportunity eight minutes later. Erin Prior gathered in a ball in the box and punched it off the crossbar. Casey Shauman, running in from the other side, leaped and headed the ball into the goal for a 2-1 Huskie lead. Moments later Casey would pay the price for scoring the goal, or for hustling, or for something, as a much bigger defender lowered her shoulder and drove Casey into the boards a few seconds after Casey got rid of the puck. Casey had to leave the game for the rest of the period, but trainer Andy Sawbones Lawrence sewed her up and Casey returned for the second half action. The cross check brought a warning but no time in the penalty box, and this caused Huskie fans to scream bloody encouragement like they were at a Wings game. After a brief clean up by the Zamboni, the action got started again.

It looked like Northern was headed to the half with a one goal lead, but with just 15 seconds left in the half, a PC ball was lofted into the box and then headed into the goal. Everyone was waiting for an offsides call…OK, half of the people in attendance were waiting for one, or wanting one, but no go, and the score was tied at two each.

The second half saw spirited action, but the Mustang machine keeps on the pressure for 80 minutes. For the second time this season, Northern went to the break with the score tied. But PC scored twice in the latter half of the second half for the 4-2 victory.

The Huskies had many great performances in this game. Risking leaving out someone who busted their guts, we can simply congratulate the entire squad for giving all they had for 80 minutes. It was a great and entertaining contest. There may be a better rivalry game somewhere in the country, but let’s be real…no there isn’t. The Lakers-Celtics and the Yankees-Red Sox…give me a break! U of M – Ohio State…not even in the Woody-Bo era! PN forensics vs. PC forensics…even intellectually, just not as supercharged!

SENIOR MOMENT: Speaking of rivalries, this one has perhaps the most competitive player ever roaming the midfield. Cassie VanderSloot LOVES to compete, and in the rivalry game she shifts into gears most humans and car companies can only imagine. On the day you may be reading this (Thursday, May 28), the Girls on the Run program will have a few thousand young girls running through downtown Kalamazoo. When Cassie was in fourth grade, she “participated” in Girls on the Run. Schools lined up in reverse alphabetical order (Amberly) and then alphabetically by student. Cassie started approximately 1,500 girls back in the pack, out of 1,500 “participating”. Why is the word “participating” in quotes? Don’t ask Cassie. That word for Cassie means “win at all costs”. Cassie took off in the 5K run and passed 1,499 runners to finish first. So the next time you are looking for someone to “participate” in something, don’t ask Cassie. Next time you want to WIN something, ask Cassie. Thanks Cassie, for your competitiveness.
Karli heads this one out as PC players push in aggressively
Laura heads it out
Sidney collects another shot
Sidney tries to block the header
Lots of congestion in the goal area

PN defeats BCL - 24.May.2010

Global warming was on full display tonight as the temperature hit 90 for the first time in May since Al Gore invented the Internet. Battle Creek Lakeview, one year removed from knocking the Huskies out of the conference tournament semifinal game, came to Portage to try to duplicate the same feat. Northern was celebrating Senior Night, which was moved from the Friday night East GR game that was cancelled due to violent storms, also the result of global warming.

The temperature was actually a little warmer on this night around the Spartan goal, as Northern pressured the opponents net pretty consistently throughout the game. Lakeview did have a few opportunities to score, but the best ones came on long free kicks that peppered Northern goalie Sid Block. Sid stopped all of their chances, doing a nice job in securing the Huskies 11th shutout of the season.

Northern scored two goals in each half in this game. Casey Shauman scored midway through the first half when her shot ricocheted off a defender and into the net. Hannah Scafaria made the assist. Lakeview was able to keep the score 0-1 until just 52 seconds left in the half, when Scafaria scored off an Erin Prior pass.

In the second half, not until 13 minutes left in the game did the Huskies get the third goal. Scafaria flicked a header assist to Sam Kay, who shaked and baked her way between three defenders to put one in the oven. The fourth and final Northern goal came after Scafaria (if you haven't heard this name enough already?) was taken down in the box. Erika Jansen was the lucky senior on the field, and was awarded the PK. She stroked a perfect ball in the net and Senior Night was a hot success with a 4-0 victory.

Before the game, our four seniors were introduced with their parents. The player introductions are reprinted below. Thank you to our seniors for your efforts on and off the field, and in defining the true meaning of student athlete with your actions.

Erika Jansen #8

Erika is the daughter of Krystal and Norman Jansen. She has played for the varsity team for the last 3 years. Although she has been versatile enough to play many different positions, she has mainly played as an outside defensive player. Her strength and determination have made Erika an invaluable asset to the team. Erika has also been very successful outside of soccer. Some of her activities and honors include; being a member of International Club, four years of highest honors at PNHS and three years high honors at Kalamazoo Math and Science Center. Erika's future plans include attending University of Michigan and studying Engineering. Erika's role model is her soccer coach, Mr. Glass. He has always been someone that she looks up to and even though he has suffered some recent set-backs, his continued sense of humor shows his strong character.

Natalie McClish #6

Natalie's proud parents are Joyce and Larry McClish. Natalie has been a varsity Husky player for three years playing as an outside midfielder and outside defense. She brings her multi-sport athleticism to the soccer pitch and is able to stave off the toughest opponents. Natalie keeps her mind as sharp as her soccer skills by participating in the National Honor Society, the Student Senate, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has also received Highest Honors at PNHS for the last four years! She plans on attending U of M and studying Movement Science so that she can become a Physical Therapist. Natalie's role models include Tim Tebow and her parents because they both bench press the same weight and they both exemplify the type of person that she would like to be some day.

Anna Stinson #13

Anna's parents are Ed (Big Ed) and Margie (Large Marge) Stinson. She has been a varsity player for 4 years as a forward, a center mid-fielder and the best cheerleader on the team. During her freshman year she made 2nd team all state and during her sophomore and junior years she made 1st team All State. Anna has been an integral part of this team with her control of the mid field as well as her innate ability to find the back of the net. Even though she has not had much play time this year due to injury, Anna has been a tremendous asset to this young team with her leadership and direction. Off the field Anna also shines as a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Be There Foundation. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a Big 16 Scholar Athlete and she is the B'nai B'rith Recipient. Anna plans on attending Illinois State University and studying Exercise Science at the Honors College. She will also become a Lady Redbird as she continues to play soccer for ISU. Anna's role model is Big Bird because he stays so positive even though he is always around Oscar the Grouch.

Cassandra VanderSloot #1

Cassie's parents are Liz and Scott Vandersloot. Cassie has played soccer for many years but has been a proud Husky varsity player for the last 4 years as a defensive center midfielder. She uses her tenacity on the ground and in the air to control the middle of the field. She plans on continuing on in her soccer endeavors while attending Ferris State College as a Lady Bulldog. Because it takes a well rounded person to be a fantastic soccer player, Cassie has earned honors at PNHS and has been a member of the Latin Club for the last two years. Her role models include Natalie McClish and Anna Stinson for being great leaders and BreAnne Bye, Casey Shauman and Samantha Kay for just rockin'. She also counts her parents as her role models as she owes them for her existence.

The seniors still have a few more games to play before they walk off into the sunset!
Laura gets good distance on this one
Casey gets behind the defense
Danielle prepares to reload the attack
Sam gets one by the keeper
Erika nails this PK to make it 4-0
Lauren pokes it away
Josie takes the space they give her
Sidney blocks for another save
Andy always wants improvement

Huskies Tame Bears - 19.May.2010

JV: The Huskie JV team turned a slow start into a 4-1 victory with a strong second half, raising their record to 11-5-1.

VARSITY: It was a perfect day to go to Silver Beach in St. Joseph and catch some rays. Bright sunshine and 80 degrees…a perfect day to see Lake Michigan, the precious sandy beaches and dunes, the cute lake town. Oh never mind. Lets go east to the Celery City (where is the celery anyway?), to the beautiful Huskie Soccer Complex, the precious Post Office on the horizon, the cute little Chez Huskie.

The Bears of St. Joe came to town to get the conference tournament started. With the season winding down in lightning fashion, Northern was charged up and scored in a flash with just a minute gone in this game. Freshman Nicole Berry scored off a pass from Danielle Melgar to get things going. Then, the Huskies spread the next seven goals out pretty evenly throughout the remainder of the game to take an 8-0 victory.

Casey Shauman redirected a perfect cross from Sam Kay into the net for the next goal. Then Melgar got back to the assist game by delivering the next two: the first to Erin Prior and the next to Kay, for a 4-0 halftime lead.

The halftime show was a mildly entertaining session of juggling by three Huskie alum. Sam the Bam Pace, Rachel the Rocket Myer, and Andrea Jammin Jones put on a show that was worth the price of admission alone…which was free once halftime started.

The second half included four more Huskie goals. Chelsea Carpentier scored off a Shauman pass. Then, like looking in a mirror, Carpentier assisted on a Shauman goal. Then, Breanne Bye sent a ball out in front of Erin Pryor, who thought she was WAY offsides and just sort of stood there with pangs of guilt and embarrassment…but wait, what, no whistle, hmmmm, OK, restart the engine and score. There was one lone defender on the other side of the field hidden in the blinding sun. Finally, Sam Kay wrapped up a day of hustle with the final goal of the night, on a feed from Karli Fisher.

Northern welcomed back goalie Jenna Long to some action after nearly a month off with a couple of broken fingers.

SENIOR MOMENT: Today, after nearly eight months of layoff, senior Anna Stinson is a Hip Dude once again. After double hip surgery, today (May 19) is the day that Anna can start running again. Scott VanderSloot put this date on his calendar a long time ago…but sorry Scott, Anna cannot play tonight. Anna's soccer story can be traced back to when she was about one year old, and ironically, another Hip is involved. Anna's mother Margie coached Anna's older brother Matt's AYSO team when Anna was one year old. Margie would put Anna on a blanket on the sidelines with a pile of crackers. (Anna's dad must have been home on a couch eating tortilla chips watching reruns of Cheers.) When the crackers were gone, Anna would cry (just like she would do today if she ran out of crackers). Margie would pick Anna up and strap her on her hip, running around coaching the boys. That is how Anna learned the game at a very early age, in a very hip way.

Nicole makes a nice inside cut
Katie prepares to send it in
Chelsea was strong all over the field
Jenna's back in action
Josie sends it up to a teammate
Lauren pushes it ahead in the box
Sam threatens close to goal
Natalie takes it up at warp speed
Karli heads it forward
Laura serves up another corner kick
Erin takes a shot from 17 yds
Casey gets behind the defense
Cassie's quick pass
Natalie drives upfield
Anna helps keep Andy cool

Huskies Blank Lancers - 17.May.2010

JV: The JV team played a strong game against the Lancers of Lakeshore and knocked down a 3-0 victory, raising their record to an excellent 10-5-1. The junior varsity has accomplished this record with five of "their" freshmen playing on varsity all year. Way to go JV.

Varsity: Jason Hansen, the most prolific scorer in Detroit Lions history, will soon be retiring from his field goal duties. Lion management may wish to scout the Huskie women's varsity soccer team during the next NFL draft. A plethora of Huskie kickers split the uprights eight times in a 25-0 thrashing of the Lancers. That's eight field goals through the goal posts lurking over the soccer nets, and one conventional soccer-style goal into the net.

The only real goal came 15 minutes into the second half, with Casey Shauman taking a feed from Erika Jansen and hitting a perfectly placed shot from 27.5 yards out (really…we were playing on a football field). Lakeshore came into the game with a sparkling 10-2 record, and although they dodged multiple bullets (field goals), they were just one Huskie breakdown away from tying the score. Laura Glass kept the long-ball attack at bay, and there was no Huskie defensive breakdown in this game. The Lancers one main scoring attempt ironically came with just 15 seconds left on the clock, when their only corner kick was placed perfectly into the box. The ball was jostled around briefly before being knocked away for the 1-0 victory.

A couple of Northern freshmen goal scorers weren't available to knock down a few scores for the Huskies, but they teased the fans in the pregame with a little game of kick ball back and forth, each using their only good leg, each propped up with two crutches, and best of all, each smiling. Shelby Adams is lost for the season and Hannah Scafaria will miss a few games. Northern fans' patience will be rewarded over the next few weeks and years as these two get healthy.

Erin Prior spent this game working hard all game long in the midfield, along with a couple of other brain-tested seniors, Cassie VanderSloot and Natalie McClish (fresh off a four hour IB biology exam). Karli Fisher, who can somehow snake her body between the player and the ball at will (lots of will), helped create some of those "field goal" opportunities with fine passing. Lauren Barlow and Josie Huss, who seem to take advantage of the minutes they play by being fearless, contributed solidly to the Huskie cause. Two other freshmen (Nicole Berry and Katie Sorensen) also gave their usual hustle and did the things Northern needed to win this West Crossover game.

The Huskies record goes to 12-3-1 for the year, with this 1-0 victory the 9th shutout for the defense. The eight field goals is also a school record.

Danielle was mugged from behind just outside the box yet stayed on her feet even though knocked off the ball
Cassie prepares to distribute
Natalie sprints to be first
Justin's pre-game pep talk
Nicole carries upfield
Sam blocks a defensive clear
Erin races toward goal
Which way will she dart next?
Karli in control
Hannah and Shelby on crutches

Trojans Earn Road Victory - 14.May.2010

JV: Northern's JV team played well but could not get on the board in a 0-1 defeat. It was a very good game, and although it was a loss, we are happy that our girls got through the game without any serious injuries.

Varsity: The Plainwell varsity came to town looking to crack the win column against Northern for the first time in many years. Northern has enjoyed some huge victories over the Trojans, including a regional victory in 2007 and a district championship victory in 2008. Those were the good ole tournament days of Division 2. This Plainwell team played a little hungrier than past teams and brought a rivalry-type crowd along for the ride.

Northern struggled to find a few breaks that might turn the tide in this one, but couldn't find more than one…and that was just one too few. The Huskies had two starters leave with injuries in this one that added to the walking wounded. But the healthy kept working hard and had a couple opportunities to tie in the waning seconds.

The first half was fairly even, but Plainwell put up the first marker with under four minutes left in the first half. The ball got behind the goalie and Laura Glass kicked it out; it came back in and Laura kicked it out again, but a third consecutive attempt could not be rejected and the half ended 0-1.

Breanne Bye played a great defensive game tonight for the Huskies. Goalie Sidney Block also did good things between the pipes. Northern tallied the tie with 25 minutes remaining when Danielle Melgar hit a lengthy cross that Erika Jansen trapped and then put a great shot in about the only open spot in the net. But with just 10 minutes left, after Plainwell lined up for about its tenth corner of the night, a perfect kick into the box was put in by a Trojan player for the 2-1 victory.

SENIOR MOMENT: Erika Jansen has been playing very well for Northern this year. She is a very smart player (not ironic that she was the recent recipient of an Excellence in Education scholarship for Kalamazoo County students), while throwing in some excellent foot skills, ball control, and hustle. Although Erika is a kind and quiet soul, she can cop an attitude when competition is involved. When Erika was 9, her Portage Lightning team was pretty good…at least around here. They went to a tournament in the Detroit area and found out there were much better teams, getting smoked one game 11-1. That game saw torrential rains and a small stream running through midfield. Erika was forced to do a couple of face plants during the game and came off after the game with only those blue eyes and her lower lip showing through the mud. Her dad wanted a team picture. All the girls were game…except one. Erika just lost a game and she was cloaked in mud. She would have nothing to do with capturing the moment! Erika had a great goal and a great game tonight, but I hope nobody asked to take her picture.

Erika checks out her options
Cassie changes direction
Natalie makes a nice run upfield
Bre makes a nice run upfield
Hannah launches a bullet
Erin does her famous stepover move
Katie on a nice overlap
Sid had lots of action and many nice saves
Cassie blocks it upfield
Erin tiptoes down the line
Erika carries upfield
Can't afford to lose any more players to injury!

At the Senior Awards ceremony last evening, all four Husky seniors were recognized for achieving highest honors

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Huskies vs Beavers - 10.May.2010

The Beavers of Harper Creek came to Portage for a SMAC Crossover game. It was the matchup of commonly affiliated mascots: Creek/Beavers…Northern/Huskies. Northern was down three or four starters from injury and illness, but the Huskies run deeper than normal this year and were still able to put up six goals to none for Harper Creek.

Nicole Berry, playing a fine game, started the scoring about 13 minutes in off an Erin Prior pass. Thirteen minutes later, Sam Kay scored off a nice cross pass from Danielle Melgar. Cassie VanderSloot scored the next goal according to the press box, but Breanne Bye had something to do with it, although we are not sure what.

Three more goals came in the second half. Prior assisted on a Casey Shauman goal, and then scored on an assist by Berry. Prior seemed to be playing catch with the goalie on her first five attempts, but then broke the ice with that assist and goal. Shauman scored the final goal when Lauren Barlow pushed a pass to her through numerous defenders.
Sid Block was the 6-0 shutout goalie for the Huskies.

Time now for our mid-season report on Chez Huskie. The Five-Star concession stand has had some major setbacks lately as the popcorn machine broke and a full box of Tootsie Pops were destroyed, both at the hands of seven-year veteran booster secretary Margie Stinson. Margie was penalized by being given additional concession duty, which seemed kind of an odd sentence. But working around these difficulties to once again produce great food and good profits for the soccer program, let's give it up for the hard work and efforts of Tom and Kathy Huss. This is one of the toughest parental volunteer jobs, and they have done it effectively and professionally. THANK YOU.

Nicole directs traffic
Bre is fast and strong!
Karli looks to connect
Erin was physical and phast
Laura nearly won this ball
Casey takes a shot
far post or near post?
Cat-quick Natalie wins this ball
Cassie sends it in
Erika volleys it back
Katie watches her header
Josie surveys her options
Lauren wins this ball behind her
Chelsea wins another header
Breanne fights for it
Sam takes on an opponent
Danielle races upfield
Chelsea made a great play to earn this chance
Katie keeps it in front of her

Northern Wins at Gull Lake - 07.May.2010

No matter how good, how bad, how cold, how hot, how short the grass is or how long, Portage Northern and Gull Lake always seem to put together an entertaining game of soccer. This two goal victory was a blowout by historical standards, which has been a one goal differential for many years now. And to add to the closeness, fans from both teams sit interspersed with each other on the Gull Lake bleachers. This is where you can find adults at their finest, "cajoling" each other with fun little antidotes and gentle barbs and laughable banter…all in good nature of course.

The first half of action was like the old ABA pro basketball league, back and forth into the offensive ends with multiple opportunities to score, one close call after another. The Huskies certainly had more opportunities, but Gull Lake can take the ball the other way in a hurry. First blood was drawn by Northern 16 minutes in, off a Natalie McClish through-ball that Sam Kay ran down into a one on one with the goalie. Sam won the battle for a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, Gull Lake's Devon Bond drove the left side and put a shot off the right post that ricocheted into the left side of the net for the tie. Whenever Bond gets the ball in the offensive end, there is a little breath-holding going on, but on this night, Bre Bye did a great job of containing Bond and the defense clamped down on everyone else. The defense was led by the usual culprits, along with Katie Sorenson with some excellent contributions. With four minutes left in the half, the Huskies took the lead for good when a Kay Korner Kick landed in the pack, and Casey Shauman punched it in. The half ended shortly after goalie Sid Block stopped Bond one on one with a great sliding save.

Northern was a little more dominant in the second half. The final goal came with 13 minutes remaining, when Hannah Scafaria threaded the needle with a pass to Shauman, whose defender had a five yard head start. That's when Casey's gas peddle got stuck (no time to take it in for the recall) and she blasted by the defender. This year Casey is making defenders look like they "stood there like the house by the side of the road": (Ernie Harwell: 1918-2010).

Shauman's goal made it a 3-1 victory for the Huskies, raising their record to 10-2-1.

Sam's cross from the left side is already on the way
Karli gets behind their D and moves toward goal
Hannah gets behind their D and sends it across
Cassie was strong again in the middle
Casey had the presence to follow her
own shot into the net for goal #3
Chelsea drives upfield with two
Gull Lake players in hot pursuit
Katie played impressive defense
Erin was strong up front
Danielle charges upfield while holding her ground
Nicole contributed on the outside (left and right)
Casey gets behind the Gull Lake defense and looks for a place to send in a cross as fans watch

Car Wash Saturday May 1 is Big Success
For more info and photos, visit the Car Wash page.

Norrix Falls to Northern - 03.May.2010

Portage Northern assistant coach Ryan Johnson feels a little more patriotic than most when the National Anthem is being sung at Huskie home games. His mother is behind the microphone and her live rendition of the song is a special treat for the fans. Thank you Kathy.

Northern scored four goals in each half on their way to an 8-0 victory tonight against the Loy Norrix Knights. Ten minutes in, Sam Kay took a pass from Karli Fisher and spun the opposite way the scouting reports state she turns, and knocked one in off the left post. Two minutes later Freshman Fisher hit a 25 yard beauty for her first career high school goal (which seems impossible since she has regularly been in the offensive mix). Casey Shauman assisted on the goal. Just minutes later, Kay was pushed from behind just outside the box, and her free kick was perfectly placed for the third Huskie goal. Hannah Scafaria finished off the first half scoring off another assist by that Fisher kid.

Casey Shauman had many close shots in the first half.

Danielle Melgar was held scoreless tonight but played a fine all around game. Chelsea Carpentier had many perfect touches, traps, the first half. In the second half she single handedly thwarted the Knights two scoring opportunities, which came about five seconds apart. Off a Loy Norrix corner kick, Northern goalie Sidney Block came out to try to knock the ball away but a Knight's player got a good close range shot off. As the ball neared the goal line, Carpentier kicked it out. It went to another Knight's player who shot on the open goal again…this time with Chelsea heading the ball out of goal's way. Shutout: Sid Block…Assist: Chelsea Carpentier.

Casey Shauman was getting ready to take more shots in the second half.

Halfway into the second half, defender Natalie McClish made a run toward the goal, and her shot from about 25 yards out had the movement of her cousin Jake Engels' knuckle-screwgy-spitball…like one of those oblong gag golf balls that bounce all over the place. Laura Glass (speaking of golf) had the assist. Sammy Kay followed up the McClish goal with her third goal of the game with an assist to Erin Prior. The Huskies 7th goal was Prior's this time, off a fine feed from Erika Jansen.

Casey Shauman just missed on a couple more rocket shots.

Although the final goal was anticlimactic making it 8-0, Northern fans were on the edge of their seats as Shauman took a pass from Prior near mid-field with about six seconds left. Racing toward the goal with a defender in tow and a goalie in wait, the fans' eyes went back and forth…Casey, clock…5, 4…Casey, clock…3, 2…Casey, clock, shoot…1…and like they say in the English leagues… "she scooooooooooooooores"! What may have seemed like a disrespect cheer if you were in the other bleachers was simply a Casey cheer. A game of very hard work finally paid off with one second left, and all would be well at the Shauman home tonight.

Chelsea played a good all-around game
Sam had a hat trick and some nice passes
Nicole got a good jump on the defender for this cross
Hannah got this shot off early enough to make it count
Katie delivers the throw perfectly to her teammate
Natalie made many nice runs upfield, and scored too
One of Casey's hot shots
Erin buried this one in the back of the net
Nicole looks over the passing lanes
Erika fights to hold position and deliver the pass

Four Husky Seniors made an off-the-pitch appearance at the Senior Athletic Awards program
Sunday where all four were named to the SMAC Academic All Conference Team, and Anna
Stinson was named the female B'nai B'rith Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Portage Northern.
Anna also gave an address that was very well received by students and parents alike.
Congratulations Natalie, Erika, Cassie, and Anna!

Huskies Shut Out Spartans 4-0

Today we will give the JV a well deserved write up. The JV has done a nice job this year, have won quite a few games, but have had a couple flat games also. This game though, playing a tough BC Lakeview team, they may have turned the corner toward being unbeatable if they can emulate the style of play that occurred tonight. Huskie fans enjoyed crisp and accurate passing, winning balls, toughness, solid goaltending, and a couple of goals in the second half for a 2-0 victory. Way to go JV and coaches!

The varsity returned to the scene of a rare early exit from the conference tourney here one year ago. That game was on the mind of Huskie nation this time around and coming out with indifference was not an option. Laura Glass made sure of that when she smoked in a penalty kick six minutes into the game. We give the assist (unofficially of course) to Sam Kay, who drove through about four Spartans before being tripped in the box. That culminated dominating play by Northern for awhile, as Lakeview spent the next ten minutes with free kicks all around the midfield, where Nicole Bentz launched missiles into the Northern goal area. But the Huskies missile defense system was activated and the Sidney Blockade held on until the next offensive could take place.

Nicole Berry spent a large portion of the first half winning balls and pinpointing passes. Glass, as has been the case all year, made all the right moves as a back stop. And Cassie VanderSloot, doing her impression of New Orleans famous jazz pianist Dr. John (who plays in Kalamazoo tonight); "I was in the right place, but it must have been the …right…time", as she continually spoiled Spartan runs.

The Huskies played well and had many shots on goal, but Spartan goalie Grace Labrecht showed why she is a D-1 goalie and had numerous acrobatic saves. Northern led just 1-0 at the half.

Seven minutes into the second half Kay hit a cross that was won by Shelby Adams, who orchestrated a handball call on Lakeview. Kay blasted in the PK for the 2-0 lead (Adams for the unofficial assist). Just two minutes later, from about 35 yards out, Sam Kay, off a pass from Danielle Melgar, got off a quick unsuspecting kick that just got over the goalie's outstretched arms. Late in the second half Casey Shauman scored the Huskies fourth goal after receiving a pass from Lauren Barlow, who played great minutes while in there for Northern. Katie Sorensen (that's SOR-n-sen and not So-REN-sen) played very well for the Huskies. Northern had a slew of great efforts, including Sid in the goal, having her best game in a Huskie uniform.

Northern soccer hopes that Shelby Adams is up and "adam" soon! Good luck Shelby.

Laura Glass converts this 1st half PK confidently
Sam Kay converted this 2nd half PK solidly too
Spartan opportunities like this were snuffed out by Bre Bye and the defense numerous times in the first half
Cassie VanderSloot sends it in with another good pass
Chelsea Carpentier won most balls that came her way
Casey Shauman considers her options
Erika Jansen jukes around a Spartan midfielder
Hannah Scafaria catches it cleanly, then goes to work
Josie Huss keeps her head up and finds a teammate
Karli Fisher launches a strong cross
Katie Sorensen outruns her opponent
Shelby Adams makes another well-placed pass
Sidney Block made every save to earn the shutout
Casey Shauman moves upfield shoulder-to-shoulder
Fans young and old liked what they saw on the field

Bearcats put up Good Effort against Huskies - 28.Apr.2010

In what could be considered a miraculous return to the pitch from double hip surgery, senior Anna Stinson scored 11 goals and also assisted on all 11 goals. She also was in goal for the shutout. From the Huskie soccer complex, this is Walter Mitty reporting.

OK, Stinson actually watched another game from the sidelines, but her youthful friends of Huskie soccer did pour in 11 goals on this night vs. the Bearcats of Battle Creek Central (more on the Bearcats later). If only Northern could have "borrowed" a few of these goals in the two previous games, all could be perfect. But in 40 minutes of action tonight, BC Central could not keep pace with Huskie soccer.

Hannah Scafaria scored three times, all on assists from Shelby Adams. Casey Shauman scored twice unassisted. Other goal scorers were Samatha Kay (2), Laura Glass (2) and Erin Prior (2); off assists from Scafaria, Nicole Berry, Karli Fisher, Danielle Melgar, and Prior (2). Breanne Bye was held scoreless on multiple attempts to find the net, but it must be noted she was double and triple teamed all night.

Besides senior Stinson, three other seniors should be noted for various accomplishments:

  1. Cassie VanderSloot (Ferris State bound) continues to lead the league in header wins.
  2. Erika Jansen missed tonight's game for a great cause. She attended a banquet at the Radisson for select students in all of Kalamazoo County for the Excellence in Education scholarship awards. Congrats to Erika for being an awesome student athlete.
  3. Natalie McClish also missed tonight's game due to injury. But Natalie is not always on the losing end of a ruckus. When she was three, older brother Ryan came at her with a hockey stick, intending to inflict bodily harm on his younger sib. But Natalie grabbed the stick from Ryan and whacked him in the head. Ryan has a scar to prove this story is no make-believe SENIOR MOMENT. Here is to hoping Natalie heals quickly, since she can inflict pain (mental pain from dominating fair play) on the other teams' top scorers.

Finally, a note about BC Central. In years of watching this team struggle to find enough players to field a team, the players who do go out and show up for each game always give their all. They don't have a slew of travel soccer players like many schools have, yet they work hard, don't give up, and always play fair. In 40 minutes of soccer tonight, there was not one penalty call, yet the Bearcats worked hard and made contact in defending their goal. After the game, their players, along with their coaches, trotted across the field toward their fan's bleachers. They chanted on their run, got back to their huddle by their dugout, and spent another minute in a huddle chanting and cheering. Northern provided the Bearcats with dinner after the game, and the team got together for a "Thank you" cheer. This is not 8-year old AYSO, but teenagers competing, working hard, playing fair, and then being thankful and appreciative of their hosts. I can leave a game against Portage Central with glassy eyes from a loss, but I can leave a game with BC Central with glassy eyes from what truly matters.

Go Bearcats. Build your program. Kick some butt some day (at least the rest of the SMAC!). We will be there rooting for you.

Danielle Melgar serves notice that she's also in the
running for the "most balls won in the air" contest.
Erin Prior drives the ball upfield

Huskies Subdue Maroon Giants - 26.Apr.2010

Vote. After playing six tough games in seven days, Huskie players (vote) tried to heal their wounds over a two day weekend (vote). After being shut out for two successive games by top ten teams, the (vote) Huskies were able to turn the shutout tide against a Kalamazoo Central (vote) team that may have lost a soccer game…but may have a chance to (vote) have President Barack Obama speak at their graduation. All they need is enough of us (vote) to get online and vote!

Shelby Adams got the Huskies going eight minutes into the game when she placed a perfect pass into the box where Casey Shauman knocked it in. Just moments later, Shauman passed to Danielle Melgar, whose goal made it 2-0. Shauman's speed was on display tonight, as she sprinted out of her shoe on one occasion.

Then, the Chihuly of Corner Kicks, Laura Glass, bent in a corner directly into the net for the second time in two weeks, giving Northern a 3-0 lead. Just before the half, the Huskies tallied their fourth goal with Melgar lobbing a pass into the box, where Sam Kay chest-trapped the ball, turned and fired as the ball was hitting the ground.

Josie Huss and Nicole Berry played well on defense in helping the Huskies shut down the Giants in the first half.

Sidney Block, who could have slacked off from lack of action, did anything but that when KC knocked on the door twice midway through the second half. Sid jumped to knock out a point-blank hard hit headed for the goal, and then seconds later had a diving save, to help preserve the shutout.

Northern scored two goals in the final six minutes. Kay hit a perfect corner kick that Melgar knocked in without the ball touching the ground. Then Kay finished the scoring off a great pass from Erin Pryor for the 6-0 victory.

Katie Sorenson, Chelsea Carpentier, Nicole Berry and Karli Fisher all contributed shut-down defense in the second half, with the latter three also contributing offensive runs from the midfield.

Northern seemed tired at times in this game, but given last week's brutal schedule, here is a Vote for just one more day's rest…and here's another one for KCentral. And another.

Erin puts on a move
Hannah's always ready to go to work
Josie sends it in
Katie drives upfield
Hopefully the AR was in position to watch this
Nicole keeps the ball close as she dribbles upfield

Huskies Complete Wild Week - 23.Apr.2010

Was it fatigue finally settling in after playing five previous games within the past six days? Was it playing their first game of the season on turf against an outstanding team? Or a combination of both?

Regardless what answer you might prefer to give, the Huskies battled hard to the final horn before falling Friday night to Forest Hills Central, 4-0, on the Rangers' field. In a 48-hour span, Northern faced two of the top District 1 teams in the state.

This was the first meeting of the teams since PN defeated the Rangers in a thrilling District semifinal last year on the Huskies' field.

FHC came out strong in the contest but the Huskies thwarted a number of scoring opportunities with good play in the middle. However, the Rangers' Kaely Schlosser showed why she is one of the best players in the state when she received a pass, moved slightly to her just outside the Huskie box and fired home a shot to make it 1-0.

Northern responded in good form, though, as they attempted to adjust to the rapid pace of a game played on turf and put together some fine passes, penetrating the FHC defense in the closing minutes of the half. Once again, though, Cassidy Hunter finished off a great pass with a low shot to the left of keeper Jenna Long with only 39 ticks remaining on the first half clock and it was 2-0 at the break.

The Rangers added two more markers in the 2nd stanza and the Huskies had seen enough of them (at least for the regular season). The game did take it's toll as Natalie McClish, Hannah Scafaria, Erika Jansen, and Lauren Barlow all sat out the half with lower-body injuries (Lauren missed both halves with her foot injury).

Even in defeat, there were some fine plays exhibited from the young Huskie squad. Both Jenna Long and Sidney Block performed well in goal, with Sidney replacing Jenna in the 2nd half. Bre Bye, once again, displayed her defensive prowess as she limited Schlosser to very few touches despite her one goal. Bre did the same to PC's Charlie Scocia on Wednesday. Danielle Melgar was all over the field, making good play after good play. And Josie Huss made a spectacular slide tackle of a streaking Ranger forward bearing down on the Huskie net late in the contest.

The gauntlett of playing Midland Dow, Okemos, E. Kentwood, Portage Central, and Forest Hills Central, all in one week, is now over. No question those contests will bode well for the Brown and Orange now and later in the season. There's a sports axiom that says you truly don't know how good you are unless you play the best.

However, there's little time to rest as three games await them next week against Kalamazoo Central, Battle Creek Central, and Battle Creek Lakeview. If my calculator battery holds up, that will add up to nine games within a 14-day stretch. A tall test for any team but one that the Huskies are ready to meet with determination and passion.

Bre Bye held off Dream Team member
Kaely Schlosser excellently
Freshman Shelby Adams showed speed,
strength, skill, and determination
Cassie VanderSloot won many balls in the air
like this one (click any image for wider view)
Casey Shuman (I mean Shauman!) flies
through the air to volley this one
Freshman Karli Fisher was first to the ball
Sam Kay surveys her options before doing her thing

editors note: Thanks to Larry McClish for filling in Friday for Ed Stinson who is on a very well-deserved post-April-15th break.

Huskies fall to Mustangs - 21.Apr.2010

Portage Northern's last visit to the Mustang soccer field two years ago resulted in a come-from-behind conference championship victory, breaking a 50 game conference winning streak. Here the Huskies were again, this time with Portage Central sporting a new 35 game unbeaten string. A great night for soccer and string-breaking with about 600-700 fans packed in the stands and on the sidelines.

PC was on the offensive most of the first half, and had a few shots bounce off the goal posts. Northern's defense bent a little but was resilient in defending the goal. The Huskies had a few opportunities, but also could not catch a break. The game remained deadlocked at zeros at the half.

Within one minute of the second half, a loose ball in the Northern box seemed to just sit on the grass in the middle of a group of players. If it just could have sat right there for the next 39 minutes, things could have been golden. But a Mustang player finally knocked the ball into the net for the first goal of the game. In the latter stages of the second half, Central scored three more times for the 4-0 victory.

Northern was gritty and held the top team in the state to one goal in the first 60 minutes of action, but near the end of the game lost the steam needed to hold off the Mustang attack. Still, Northern generated offensive opportunities, but the breaks needed for the rivalry game just didn't materialize. As the Huskies learn to play together with many new teammates, the breaks will become so common they won't even be considered breaks.

GREAT days ahead for the Huskies.

One of many PC chances snuffed out in the first half
Natalie McClish turns it around back upfield
Laura Glass collects and then distributes
another dangerous chance in the PN box for PC

Huskies Outscore Falcons 4-1 (19.Apr.2010)

After an impressive JV victory, 3-0 over East Kentwood, the future of Northern soccer was on display. Don't get too impatient…we will get to that later. But first, four youth teams went head to head before the varsity game. Without a roster, not sure who that #4 was, but we are sure to have a house for your family in the Northern district.

Youth soccer was on display in the varsity game also. East Kentwood brought six freshman and five sophomores with the varsity, while Northern sports five frosh and seven sophs. At times this game seemed like Monday night at the cage fights. But the Huskies didn't yelp; they rather dug in and barked back with authority.

Northern struck first in this one with Hannah Scafaria playing a ball to Sammy Kay, who was nearly taken down in the box but used her low center of gravity to somehow keep possession and put one by the goalie just three minutes into the game. At the 27 minute mark of the first half Scafaria was on the other end of the play, off an assist from Casey Shauman, taking the pass down the right side and hitting the net from what seemed to be an impossible angle. East Kentwood fired up numerous corners in the half and converted one late in the half to make the score 2-1 at the break.

With the ref "letting 'em play" even more in the second half, things got a little more chippy and Joyce McClish was sharing some loud thought-provoking insight, until reminded she "ran a daycare" by Fran Melgar. (This parental moment was brought to you by the makers of Tums, Advil, Prozac, and Excedrin PM.)

Freshman Shelby Adams came off the DL in fine fashion, playing strong and connecting on the Huskies third goal after gathering up her own rebounded shot and drilling it home eight minutes into the second half. Even with a two goal lead, fans were requesting respirators as the action around the Northern goal seemed to make the clock go tick…..tock….tick….tock. But with 3 minutes left, Danielle Melgar pounded in a rebound of a Scafaria shot and the respirators were silenced for a 4-1 victory.

Jenna Long played a great game in goal, including a late knee-save off a close range bullet shot. Bre Bye was a shining star in a Huskie galaxy of stars on this night. It was a team effort and all contributed with gut-wrenching effort; to see the names of the other stars, please just go down the roster. Northern…….Huskies!

Coming up: This writer has never done this before, but I am going to make a BOLD prediction for the big rivalry game on Wednesday with Portage Central…
…The game will be well attended and there will be excellent soccer. Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest.

After scrimmages, AYSO and PSC players accompanied varsity players onto the field during introductions
Cassie was a major force throughout the middle
This serve sailed a bit on Erika but she almost nailed it

Midland Dow tough to score on - April 17th Three for One

How the human body can handle three hard fought soccer games in one day, in a very cold and blustery setting, is truly an astonishing thing. And I'm not even talking about the players. They have it relatively easy, running around staying warm. But put yourself on a cold metal bleacher for five hours with gusts of icy winds penetrating your inner being…now that is impressive.

The Dow Chargers brought a busload of speedsters from the east side of the state. They challenged the Huskie defense like it hadn't been challenged yet, but for the third straight game, Northern fired the shutout. This time, the goalies (Jenna Long and Sidney Block) truly earned the shutout with excellent decisions and stops. The defenders were strong for a morning game, with the tireless Natalie McClish, even with an early Saturday wakeup call, playing a great game. Freshman Katie Sorensen contributed stellar defense, along with veteran anchors Laura Glass, Cassie VanderSloot and Bre Bye.

Northern had chances, but perhaps the best chance didn't happen. With 25 seconds left a shot on goal was rejected by the Dow goalie, and the ball was windswept to Milham Rd. By the time the ball was retrieved, the Huskies could not get off a good corner kick and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Natalie taps the ball to her side before moving it upfield
Hannah smoothly glides downfield at near warp speed

Northern Defeats Okemos - April 17th Three for One

It seems Okemos has had a stellar soccer program as long as we can remember. Rumor has it they were even good way back when Coach Andy Fuehr went there. Last year Northern handed Okemos their only regular season loss. This was bound to be another great contest.

Northern finally gave up its first goal of the season after 240 minutes of shutout defense. Okemos' goal 20 minutes in gave them a 1-0 advantage that seemed like it could turn out to be a game winner as time was dwindling. But with seven minutes remaining in the game, Laura Glass MapQuested a free kick From: foot…To: Net; a perfect route to a small opening. The rejuvenated Huskies cranked it up a notch, and it was the spirited play of freshman Carly Fisher that seemed to launch the winning drive. With just under three minutes remaining, Casey Shauman took a timely pass from Chelsea Carpentier just past midfield and after a foot race with a fast and tough defender, shielding and shucking, was able to get the ball past the goalie for a tremendous game-winner.

The 2-1 victory was huge news in AARP circles, as Sprig Shauman celebrated his 50th birthday on this memorable (for awhile anyways) victory.

There was lots of congestion in front of the goal, especially for corner kicks like this one, but time and time
again, Jenna Long came up with the ball (with good help from the defense to clear what few got behind her)
This sequence is from a goal kick designed for distance and general placement, but it also shows power similar
to what Laura Glass put behind her direct kick (with pinpoint precision) to score the first Husky goal.
Click on the first image to see the determination Casey Shauman had when she took the ball directly to goal. She and
the speedy defender got tangled up, but just after the last image she recovered the ball and buried the winning shot

Northern Defeats Traverse City Central - April 17th Three for One

The final game saw the return of Samantha Kay to action. With two minutes elapsed in the game, Sam had her first goal of the season. Fourteen minutes later Sam had her second goal. Two minutes later, after Sam missed her first shot of the year, Scott Kay had his first "Are you kidding me?" of the year. Casey Shauman and Hannah Scafaria assisted on Kay's goals.

Danielle Melgar scored the Huskies third goal on a beautiful pass from Nicole Berry. Melgar then "wooshed" in the next goal off a Shauman pass or shot. The final Northern goal came on a great cross from Kay to Erin Pryor.

TC didn't score until 12 minutes left in the game, to make the final 5-1. The Huskie defense again played solidly, with Josie Huss and Berry leading the way. Lauren Barlow and Chelsea Carpentier added toughness to the defensive presence of this game.

Three long, grueling soccer games. The parents will be going to bed early tonight.

Danielle Melgar had a solid game
Sam Kay gets behind the defense
Karli Fisher got involved right away
Keeper comes out while Sam Kay takes a nice shot.
Sam had two goals and an assist against TCC.
Erin Prior converted one of several good chances
she helped create for herself with strong play.

Northern Blanks Mattawan - 14.Apr.2010

Sometimes when you look deep enough into the game on the field, you can see the game of life. The game of life is hard to recognize sometimes when you're trying to watch your kid, or the ref needs a little vocal "encouragement", or you're discussing the next soccer booster meeting in the stands. But tonight, hidden from most fans but not to some of us, the game of life played out in a special way just before halftime

Blake Glass, enjoying soccer for the first time since suffering a heart attack back in mid-February, sat in his van to watch the game. Junior Laura Glass set up for a corner kick, and after playing a superb half of soccer from the stopper position, set her left-footed bender into the goal area…over the scrum in the middle…over the goalie's head…and directly into the upper far corner of the net. In the game on the field, the shot made the score 3-0 Huskies; in the game of life, it made for a perfect memory for someone who has been at her Dad's side for two months.

The goal was actually Northern's final goal of the game, but the Northern defense recorded its second straight shutout so a little offensive sputtering in the second half did not affect the final outcome. Each Huskie goalie recorded a couple of nice saves, Jenna Long in the first half and Sidney Block in the second. Lauren Barlow helped by rejecting one Mattawan shot that got behind the goalie. Erika Jansen played a superb game in between getting battered a couple of times.

This game felt like a late season game rather than early April, with 80 degrees bringing out the Bermudas. Northern played along with the temp, scoring early and cooling off late. With just a few minutes elapsed, Cassie VanderSloot punched a ball out to Freshmen Katie Sorensen, whose strike from about 30 yards out was perfectly placed for a 1-0 lead. Later in the half, Hannah Scafaria scored after a short weave-fest, off a feed by Erin Prior.

The final ten minutes of action was played in a budget-saving blackout. It may have been a beautiful night, but the sun still sets each and every night…and on this night, it also set, about 15 minutes before the end of the game. It was a nice setting if you were on a date, but not if you were trying to watch the end of a soccer game.

At least we saw Laura's corner.

Junior Laura Glass launched this corner kick over the keeper's outstretched hands and hooked it
perfectly into the back corner of the goal for the third Husky tally. (click on image for full resolution)

Huskies kick off season with home victory - 6.Apr.2010

What could be better than an early April Michigan evening, 75 degrees, good friends, grillin' burgers, and relaxing? Only one thing: toss in opening day for Portage Northern Huskie soccer with all of the above and there you have it…the one thing. There were signs aplenty that the great sport was back in season, perhaps foremost the arrival of Trudy Riker just before game time. Sporting a large black-eye; one could only imagine that she still has the shiner from her run-in with the ref from last year's overtime penalty kick call. There was Tom and Al in the booth, the only free Comedy Central in high school sports. There was Chez Huskie smoke waffling through the crowd. Yes, Welcome Home Huskie Soccer…may the Tradition continue.

Huskie faithful had to pick up a program on this opening day, with four freshmen in the starting lineup. Along with a solid JV team, this was a good view of the fun to come. Northern's freshmen troops included Katie Sorensen, Nicole Berry, Shelby Adams, and Hannah Scafaria. Scafaria is on pace to score 276 career goals after putting up a hat trick in her first high school game. That would beat Laura Heyboer's state record by 109 goals. Scafaria's goals all came in the later stages of the first half, off two assists from Danielle Melgar and one from Casey Shauman, who scored the first goal of the season just two minutes into the game. Scafaria assisted on that goal. Shelby Adams scored the second goal on an assist from Shauman. The five goals and five assists from the youngsters put the Huskies up 5-0 at the half over the Bulldogs of Vicksburg.

Halftime saw vegetarians and vegans lining up for a Chez Huskie burger.

Shauman started the second half almost identically to the first, scoring two minutes in, off yet another assist by Melgar. Finally, Melgar got to be on the other end, perfectly striking a well-placed cross from Erika Jansen to put the Huskies up 7-0. The Huskies ended the game early with 28 minutes remaining by scoring their 8th goal. The goal was scored by Erin Prior, who had spent the final four minutes creating havoc and opportunity around the goal, finally being rewarded when she popped one by the goalie on an assist by Laura Glass.

The Huskie shutout for goalies Jenna Long and Sidney Block included a stellar defense that gave up just one shot on goal for the game. Larry McClish won the Cassie VanderSloot pool, picking the first scuffle of the season to come in the 48th minute of action, which was exactly correct.

Next game is Tuesday, April 13, at Mattawan. Income tax preparation services will be available in the stands that night.

The Carrabbas fundraiser is Sunday April 18th from 11:00 to 1:00 (or you can pick up until 3:30 or so). Buy tickets from Margie Stinson for $15.00 each. This is a great way to enjoy some excellent food and help the soccer program at PN since a significant portion of the $15.00 comes back to the soccer program.

Youth Soccer Night is Monday April 19th for the East Kentwood game. Youth from kindergarten through 6th grade who come wearing their team's soccer jersey get in free.

The car wash is scheduled for Saturday May 1st from 10am until 2pm at the PCEC parking lot just east of Husky Field. The JV players and parents will have the 10-12 time slot and the Varsity will have the 12-2 time slot. All players will need to attend, and we will need at least 4-6 adults for each time slot (more would be great). Adults, please contact Mike Prior to volunteer for your respective time slot. We need a very good turnout to make this successful. The times are for only 2 hours and the soccer program at Northern could make a significant amount of money off of this fund raiser. All players are expected to take turns actually washing cars and flagging down cars (not just flagging down cars).

Senior Night is Friday May 21

The Banquet is Monday June 21


Huskies Get Tuned Up at Kalamazoo Christian - 24.Mar.2010

After Saturday's East Kentwood scrimmages were snowed out, Portage Northern finally got the chance to face an opponent and dust off the rust after the long winter. The Huskies controlled the ball most of the first half but couldn't find the back of the net until Freshman Hannah Scafaria zinged one between three Comet defenders and by the goalkeeper. In the second half, Scafaria scored again, after which PN gave up a goal before Casey Shauman and Sam Kay finished the scoring. Good scrimmage to start the season Huskies. Now have a nice spring break and remember to consult the red workout instructions to get yourself ready for the meat of the season that begins right after spring break.

Hannah Scafaria watches after she launches a nice shot about to become the first Husky goal of the season

For April, May, and June calendar of events, click here.

Good News! On Monday April 12th, after seven weeks in hospitals and
rehab centers, Blake Glass (father of Husky junior Laura) is continuing his
recovery at home. He had suffered a heart attack Feb 17th while visiting
relatives in Canada You can follow his recovery at the CaringBridge blog.


Visit the Boosters Page for minutes to previous booster meetings and for Job Descriptions for the various tasks our daughters need volunteers for to make this spring a successful endeavor.

To see last year's program, click here.

Flickr slideshow of five or six action photos from each game last season (random order):
(click on the window above to go to Flickr page for full resolution image)


To visit last year's web site, click here