Junior scorer emerges as game-changer for Norwin boys soccer

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023 | 11:01 AM


When Norwin played Canon-McMillan in a section matchup last boys soccer season, Daniel Maddock moved from outside back, where he had played for three games, to the wing.

“I scored a goal from like 30 yards out,” the Knights’ junior said. “I have been playing striker ever since.”

And he is playing the position like it was made for him.

In fact, coach Scott Schuchert has compared Maddock to Knights’ all-timer Carter Breen, the Trib Westmoreland player of the year in 2018.

Maddock must have wheels to draw such high praise. Breen burned the carpet as he patrolled the wings at Knights Stadium.

“Daniel does, he can go,” Schuchert said. “He is so elusive and has a nose for the ball. Carter’s motor never stopped. Daniel has a lot of late-time goals because he has that similar stamina.”

Schuchert said Maddock could be a game-changer and a player who might find his way into the Knights’ record book.

Said Maddock of the comparison to Breen, who has the Norwin single-season record of 37 goals: “That’s something to live up to.”

Norwin (6-1), ranked No. 4 in WPIAL Class 4A, had 30 goals in the first six games and Maddock had 11 of them, scoring about half on set-ups and half on run-outs and through balls.

He had one score on a free kick when senior Rick Zappone sent a delivery into the box and Maddock finished.

“We have the ability to move the ball, find our feet and get opportunities,” Maddock said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing without my midfield guys.”

Maddock caught the attention of Norwin fans and opposing coaches last season when he scored eight goals over the final 12 games, giving them glimpse into what 2023 might look like.

A third-year starter, Maddock plays the game full time.

“I play soccer, then, outside of soccer, I play more soccer,” he said. “I feel like I have speed and knowledge of the game. I am able to read situations well. I would like to get better on one-v-one.”

Maddock’s father Jeff coached Norwin’s 15-U travel team and helped prepare those players for varsity competition.

Caleb Maddock, Daniel’s brother, is on the freshman team.

“This is the best freshmen class I have had here,” Schuchert said.

Norwin’s only loss was to No. 1 Seneca Valley, 5-1.

“We played a great second half,” Schuchert said. “I was really pleased. We would love to see them again down the road.”

Whether Norwin gets another shot at Seneca Valley in the playoffs could depend on both Maddock’s contributions and how his teammates react when opponents clamp down on the surging scorer.

“Teams know about him and are keying on him now,” Schuchert said. “That’s why you have 11 guys out there. We have guys helping to get him the ball in space up front.

“I want our play to do the talking. I think we grew up in the offseason as much as we could and we didn’t miss a beat. We’re at a pivotal point where we can gain some separation as we get into the second half (of section play). We need to take care of business.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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