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 Grosse Pointe North’s Andrew Sheffield plays the ball during a game earlier this year. At press time, the Norsemen were 8-4-1 overall.

Grosse Pointe North’s Andrew Sheffield plays the ball during a game earlier this year. At press time, the Norsemen were 8-4-1 overall.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Grosse Pointe North soccer getting hot going into postseason

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 1, 2019


GROSSE POINTE WOODS –– The Grosse Pointe North soccer team has hit its stride at the right time.

After a loss to New Baltimore Anchor Bay Aug. 28 dropped the Norsemen to 2-3 overall, they’ve been nearly unbeatable. Since then, the Norsemen have lost just once and have piled up the wins.

At press time, the Norsemen were 8-4-1 overall and 6-2-1 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

“This group is very special,” North coach Brad VandeVorde said. “They’ve bought into what we’ve been teaching them, and they’re taking it and they’re running with it, and it’s shown on the field.”

The Norsemen have found success on both ends of the field, but keeping opponents out of the net has been a strength thus far.

The Norsemen have collected five shutouts, and Anchor Bay is the only team to score more than one goal on them.  

“Defense has really been a key part of the season,” junior Nick Miller said. “That’s really improved our offense on the counterattack, which is when we really like to get teams.”

A big key to the Norsemen’s success has been experience. VandeVorde said he brought back 16 players from last year’s group.

North has 12 seniors on the roster, and that experience playing together has been vital to the success of the team.

“We have to keep working as a team and keep building that family mentality that we’ve had in past years,” senior Andrew Sheffield said.

The Norsemen still have a few games remaining before the state playoffs start Oct. 9, including a matchup against rival Grosse Pointe South. The two tied in the first meeting earlier this year.

North will have a bye to open the playoffs and will take on the winner of Oak Park High and Detroit Cass Tech. University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit Western, South and Dearborn Fordson are on the other side of the bracket. Exact times and dates of the game weren’t available at press time.

With a veteran group, there is a sense of urgency for the Norsemen. They want to end their careers on a high note and compete for a district title.

“For the past couple of years, just seeing other seniors, they want this to be one of their best years and to make a final impression,” senior Ben Ameye said. “Everyone just wants to leave their mark on the place that they’ve spent a good amount of time.”  

North will hit the field again at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.