The District #1 soccer championship match has been set after Portage Northern and Mattawan earned semifinal wins Tuesday night at Huskie Stadium. The top-seeded Wildcats knocked out Loy Norrix 3-1 in the first game, followed by a 4-0 PN win over Portage Central.
Like their earlier meeting that ended in a 1-1 draw, the Huskies and Mustangs were scoreless at halftime. PC had more than double the opportunities, including a missile off the crossbar in the opening minutes, but couldn’t convert ultimately.
Momentum quickly shifted after halftime as an own goal put PN ahead in the 42nd minute. Henry Lewis would score in the 54th minute on a 25-yard shot for a 2-0 Portage Northern lead.
In the 68th minute, Jackson Bernard scored after a mad scramble and in the 78th, a long boot led to a header and goal by Austin Kirby. Jack McDaniel unofficially had six saves for the shutout.
With the loss, Portage Central ends the year at 8-6-2 and graduates seniors Caleb Pung, Jack Fredericks, JT Wright, Mithcell Haines, Kobe Mason, and Alex Ghosh.
Portage Northern moves to 9-6-2 and will have a shot at back-to-back district titles as they host Mattawan Saturday, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com at 6 p.m.
Mattawan gave Loy Norrix nothing in the first half and scored twice on their barrage. Connor Burkett struck in the 17th minute, then Tommy Martinic picked up a rebound on a 21st minute corner kick.
In the second half, the Knights played a much stronger half and forced three saves from Wildcat goalkeeper Carson Foor. Antonio Rodriguez had 11 stops in defeat. Burkett struck again in the 73rd for Mattawan’s last goal. LN would avoid the shutout as a Hank Perkins corner kick found Ahsaad Leake with 14 seconds remaining.
Loy Norrix finishes at 4-9-2 and graduates seniors Gage Tanner, Elie Kabombo, Jonah Haulenbeek, Jonathan White, Daniel Isacksen, Colton Hyer, Abraham Konjoh, Carter Scheel, Luca Figueroa, and Evan Pollens-Voigt.
Mattawan moves to 11-1-1 and also looks for back-to-back district titles as they face Portage Northern Saturday, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Huskie Stadium.