By Dave Tomczak
MUSKEGON – North Muskegon’s girls soccer team had an impressive first half Tuesday.
The powerful Norse scored three times on nine shots in the first half against host Oakridge, then rolled on to an 8-0 West Michigan Conference win.
North Muskegon improved to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in the conference.
After a scoreless 14 minutes to start the contest, the Norse struck first when Sophie Mueller picked up a loose ball and fired it into the lower left corner for a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later, Audrey Wilson broke through the Eagles’ defense and found Emily Judd alone in front of the net, and she scored to give North Muskegon a 2-0 lead.
Wilson got her own goal at the 5:51 mark, giving North Muskegon a 3-0 edge at halftime.
“Playing (at Oakridge), playing on this turf, it fits our style,” Norse coach Ryan Berends said. “It was tough in the first half due to the wind, but we settled down in the second half.”
The Norse scored five times on eight shots in the second half, and the game ended with 8:31 left due to the mercy rule.
Grace Berends scored at the 32:43 mark for a 4-0 lead, and Sophia Schotts made it 5-0 seven minutes later.
Gwenna Pitts increased the lead to 6-0 with 17:12 remaining, Wilson scored her second goal 1:04 later for a 7-0 lead, and Ayla Pitts ended the game with the final goal.
“We made, at halftime, some adjustments,” Berends said. “Just to make our passes shorter, just be patient, draw them out and then go attack. That was a good adjustment.”
The Norse outshot Oakridge 17-2. Wilson finished with two assists and Berends and Judd had assists.
Goalkeeper Syann Fairfield had two saves for the Norse while Kristen Buchner had nine saves for the Eagles.