New coach brings energy, ‘tough love’ to Norwin girls soccer program

Saturday, March 30, 2024 | 11:01 AM

If there is one promise Ashley DeVito can make to her new Norwin girls soccer players, it is this:

“Tough love,” she said. “I am going to push them and challenge them to reach their greatest potential; however, I’ll always provide them the support that they need to do so. There will be times when I might have to give them feedback they don’t want to hear, but I will always treat them with dignity and respect and give them the tools they need to grow.”

DeVito, 31, was hired last month following the resignation of Diane Metzger, a Norwin alum who coached the team for three seasons.

An assistant principal at Propel Braddock Hills, DeVito played at Penn Hills and coached her alma mater’s girls team for seven years (2015-21). She is aware of Norwin’s rich history and wants to get the program back to being a postseason contender after the Lady Knights missed the playoffs in the last two seasons.

Norwin went 4-14 last year and finished three spots from the bottom in Section 2-4A.

“I have played and coached with, and against, so many talented girls and women from the Norwin soccer community,” DeVito said. “The program is one that I have an immense amount of respect for, due to its strong history and mass. The entire community is invested in the soccer program. There is a strong connection from the youth program all the way through the high school program. The feeder system and community support are what really excite me.”

DeVito also coached with the Allegheny Force Football Club and currently coaches in the Beadling Soccer Club. She was a four-year player at Penn Hills and NCAA Division II Edinboro.

She expects a give-and-take mentality to develop from the start at Norwin.

“I bring an incredibly high energy to the sideline,” she said. “I feel like my players want to play for me and work hard for me because it is clear and visible that I am working equally as hard for them.”

As far as a style of play, DeVito will not let the Lady Knights play passively.

“I want my players to keep possession of and take care of the ball, however, I also want them to be creative and courageous in taking risks and taking players on 1-v-1,” she said. “The main objective is always to keep the ball. There are certain times and situations where being aggressive is more appropriate.”

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


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