Portage Northern defeated Loy Norrix 2-1 in Saturday’s District #4 championship match at Portage Central, giving the Huskies their first soccer district crown since 2015.
The opening goal came only 3:02 into the match for Portage Northern as Seth Paige’s corner kick was redirected into the net by Eric Hamilton. Late in the 24th minute, Paige would score thanks to a cross from Isaiah Spillers. The Huskies dominated first half possession, surrendering only one shot on goal.
Loy Norrix goalkeeper Carlos Santos kept his team in the fight with 10 total saves, five in each half. The Knights played a near-even second half, but had trouble contending with PN keeper Austin Freemire, who unofficially had five stops.
With 1:23 remaining, Loy Norrix finally struck gold with Lucas Figueroa’s pass finding Jose Vargas near the arc, who put his shot at the far post through two defenders and the diving Freemire. However, the clock would be too much to overcome, ending LN’s first shot at a district title since their 2011 overtime defeat to the Huskies.
Loy Norrix finishes the season at 8-6-4 and graduates Santos and Vargas, along with Finn Brent, Nate Goodwin-Kelly, Henry Parworth, Ben Sanford, Jonna Frayer, Michael Lara-Sanchez, Fernando Salazar, and Alan Sanchez-Adunas. It was their first winning record in six years.
Portage Northern improves to 14-7-2 and advances to Tuesday’s regional semifinal at Rockford High School against Traverse City West. The Huskies have played TCW this season with a 1-1 draw in opening weekend tournament play. You can listen to Tuesday’s match live via JoeInsider.com.