Latrobe, Norwin battle to draw at Moe Rosensteel memorial tourney

Saturday, September 3, 2022 | 8:23 PM

Exhausted after 100 minutes of soccer that resulted in a grueling 2-2 tie in hot and humid conditions, Latrobe and Norwin girls soccer players reflected on the state of their game and the cause.

The teams played to a double-overtime draw in the final of three matchups of the inaugural Moe Rosensteel Memorial Kickoff Classic on Saturday afternoon at Norwin Knights Stadium.

“It’s a sad story, tragic. But it was an honor to play in her memory,” Norwin senior center back Reagan Casper said of the late Kaitlyn Rosensteel. “We worked on some little changes today and went out to play our best and win. We knew it would be a tough game.”

Rosensteel, a popular high school and cup player who graduated from Ringgold and was going to play college soccer at West Virginia Wesleyan, was killed by a lightning strike at Mammoth Park in June of 2019.

Proceeds raised from the event go to the Kaitlyn “Moe” Rosensteel Scholarship Foundation for a scholarship to be awarded to a top WPIAL senior player at the end of the year.

Her memory lives on through the foundation started by her family. Her father, Ed, wanted to start an early-season showcase event in her name with teams to which his daughter had a connection.

Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison coached Moe in youth soccer with the Century club.

“This is an amazing cause with unfortunate circumstances,” Morrison said. “They are doing great things for her and for the game of soccer.”

Latrobe defeated Norwin twice last season after years of futility against the perennial power, spurring a rivalry that took a sharp turn when upstart Latrobe dropped to Class 3A.

Section game or not, the teams played like it was early November with neither releasing its grip in the second half and overtimes.

Sophomore Robin Reilly, the Wildcats’ player of the match, opened the scoring in a flash with a 10-yard strike off a throw-in just 51 seconds in.

Norwin (1-1-1) scored the next two goals, with sophomore Julia Bursick connecting from 25 yards out on a free kick and freshman Hannah Amantea bumping in a goal off a cross from sophomore Ava Brucker at 9:27.

But Latrobe (1-0-1), the No. 4 ranked team in 3A, tied it just before the half with junior midfielder Ella Bulava, a Maryland commit, connecting from long range to make it 2-2 in the 40th minute.

The teams weren’t sure if overtime rules applied to a nonsection “tournament” game, but they regrouped nonetheless when full time turned to extra time and played on.

“The girls all battled until the last second,” Morrison said. “They were dog-tired. We didn’t expect (overtime), but our girls played on. Their fight was phenomenal. Norwin kind of took us for granted in the past, but the rivalry started last year when we beat them. Today was a pride match.”

Norwin lost one of its top players, junior Evelyn Moore, to an injury early in the game and she did not return.

“You never want to lose, and it’s better to win than tie,” Norwin coach Diane Metzger said. “But I am very proud of the girls and their effort. We continue to progress and make adjustments each game, which is nice to see.”

Latrobe played without senior goalkeeper Sofia DeCerb, who not only is out with a shoulder injury but was visiting James Madison, where she has committed to play in college.

Sophomore Maddy Petruzzi also sat out with an ankle injury.

“We have this saying, ‘mentality monsters,’ ” Reilly said. “We had to push through in the final minutes.”

Junior Corrine Brunetto made six saves in net for Latrobe, which was outshot 8-5.

Both teams had quality chances in the overtimes.

“We didn’t quit when it went to overtime,” said Casper, a Maryland-Baltimore County commit.

All three games were tight and had a playoff atmosphere, which seems odd for a Saturday in early September, but organizers wanted competitive soccer and got it. Ringgold, which has Ed Rosensteel on staff as an assistant coach this season, defeated Hickory of District 10, 1-0, before Thomas Jefferson blanked Franklin Regional, 1-0, in a matchup of Class 3A contenders.

Players of the match were: senior Aubrey Espoer (Ringgold), senior Daisy Rust (Hickory), senior Isabella Vozar (Thomas Jefferson), senior Mauriana Dorsch (Franklin Regional) and freshman Nicole Bown (Norwin).

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

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